Shippensburg man beat children, chained them to desk, car wheel

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SOUTHAMPTON TWP., Pa. -- A Southampton Township, Cumberland County man, who was arrested Monday, is facing child endangerment, simple assault and gun charges.

Oscar Cover, 26, abused two boys, ages 9 and 11, over a two year span, according to Pennsylvania State Police. Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed added Cover was dating the boys' mother.

A third brother, interviewed by state police and listed as 8 years old, did not appear to be physically abused, according to court documents. He was able to corroborate his brother's stories of abuse, police say.

On Sunday, May 15 at 8 p.m., police responded to a call of a possible child abuse incident at the 10 block of Koser Lane in Southampton Township. Four days later, police interviewed the 9 and 11 year old seaprately, each of whom was accompanied by a grandmother and a Child and Youth Services officer.

After an investigation, police determined Cover would chain the children to a desk using a chain and plastic zip ties. Cover was also accused of using the zip ties to tie each to a tire rim on a car and force the pair to hold bricks as punishment.

The boys told police they would be "whooped" numerous times across their buttocks to the point where severe bruising, swelling, and in some instances, bleeding would occur.

"This was emotional abuse as well as physical abuse," Freed said. "That’s the treatment some people won't inflict on a domestic animal and we’re talking about children here. It's so far over the line of appropriate discipline, and that's why the charges are appropriate."

One of the boys told police their mother knew of the abuse. District Attorney Freed indicated more charges could be forthcoming.

Neighbors, like John Fabian who lives next door along with his wife, say the family moved into the Koser Lane home towards the end of 2014, and seemed like "a typical husband, wife, and three kids."

"They seemed perfectly normal. The kids would be out, playing, riding their bikes, having a typical young boy good time," Fabian said, adding the family kept to themselves. "Just shocked. There were no indications. Anything."

Cover was also found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and a gun, although he isn't legally allowed to own a gun.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 6.