The Canonsburg father accused of abandoning his 8-year-old son last week at a South Strabane Township shopping plaza was arraigned Monday on child endangerment and disorderly conduct charges after turning himself in at the office of District Judge Jay Weller.
Nathaniel Thomas Engott, 33, of 126 E. Pike St., Apt. 2, is accused of leaving the boy near Walmart, Trinity Point.
Police were called about 7:50 p.m. Thursday to Walmart for a report of a lost child. Employees at the service desk said the boy told them he was lost. They paged Engott but received no response.
The boy told police that his father got a pedicure at a salon in the plaza. The 8-year-old went into several stores on his own while waiting for his father to finish.
The two then went to get something to eat before waiting for the bus back to Canonsburg. The boy told police he was playing with his new pocketknife when he looked up and discovered his father was no longer with him. He went back into Walmart to look for his father, then went to the service desk after not being able to find Engott, police said.
It was not the first time Thursday the boy became separated from his father in the store. The youngster went to the service desk about 20 minutes earlier to report that he couldn’t find his father. But that time, Engott came to the service desk when paged.
Canonsburg police also tried locating the father but had no luck. Neighbors told police that the 8-year-old and his 7-year-old brother often came to them looking for food. The younger boy flew to Florida last month to be with his grandmother, Canonsburg police said.
Washington County Children and Youth Services took custody of the 8-year-old. It was not known Monday if he has been returned to relatives.
After his arraignment before Weller, Engott was placed in Washington County Jail on $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for July 9 before Weller.