Police: York man charged after driving with child on his lap, steering the vehicle

YORK — A 25-year-old York man has been charged with endangering the welfare of children after York Regional Police say he was seen allowing a child to sit on his lap and steer the SUV he was driving around a York neighborhood Friday night.

Omar Montanez, of Coventry at Waterford, is also charged with one count of reckless endangerment in the incident, which occurred at about 8:40 p.m. in his neighborhood, police say.

A witness told police he saw Montanez driving with a child on his lap steering the vehicle on two separate occasions Friday night. The witness reported the vehicle nearly struck a car that was backing out of a parking space, and later was getting very close to other parked vehicles as it moved around the neighborhood. The witness provided the vehicle’s registration number to police, according to the criminal complaint.

Police say Montanez denied the witness’ allegations, told police they needed a warrant to speak to him, and slammed his door in an officer’s face when police questioned him at his home later Friday night. Police say a child of approximately 8-10 years of age was seen in the house when officers arrived.

Police left the house to obtain a written statement from the witness,  then returned to Montanez’s home to take him into custody, according to the complaint. The child was no longer in the home when police returned, the complaint states.

Polcie later learned that the child’s mother had allowed Montanez to babysit the child that day.

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