Mechanicsburg man charged after child runs into traffic

Peter Niwagaba (submitted)

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Police say they charged a Cumberland County man after his 4-year-old son wandered from home and ran into rush-hour traffic.

Peter Niwagaba, 47, of Mechanicsburg, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Upper Allen Township police said the charge stems from an incident on May 15 when the child was running across the 2200 block of South Market Street. They said a driver attempted to stop traffic and several people from a nearby business tried to catch the boy, but the child eluded them and ran back to his home in the 2200 block of Aspen Court.

Niwagaba told police he was working upstairs while his son was downstairs watching television. He said he was unaware the boy had left the home. He added that he has locks on the door, but his son defeated the locks.

In charging documents, police said Cumberland County Children and Youth Services responded to Niwagaba’s home twice in the past, and one visit resulted in a previous charge of child endangerment. They said the incident on May 15 “shows a course of conduct for endangering the welfare of children.”

Niwagaba was arraigned last week. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 19.

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