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Mother Endangers Welfare of Children, Busted Next Day for Hit and Run

Christina Fitzwater's two children were found at Pudge's Restaurant without proper clothing for the cold weather. She said she left her children with a 12-year-old.

Christina Marie Fitzwater, 32, of the 1500 block of Dean Drive, Towamencin, was busted two days in a row - the first for allegedly abandoning her children with a 12-year-old and the second for an alleged hit and run.

responded to Pudge's Restaurant, 1555 Sumneytown Pike, Towamencin, on Jan. 15 at noon to investigate a report of possible lost children.

The two children, aged 5 and 8, were not dressed appropriately for the cold weather and no parent or adult was with them, police said.

The children were in the restaurant for at least 20 minutes, police said. The children told employees they were there because they were cold and needed a drink, police said.

The weather was 25 degrees with a wind chill factor of 12 degrees.

The children were provided with warm food by the restaurant staff and assisted with the children as police began an investigation.

Police identified the children as residing on the 1500 block of Dean Drive, police said.

The children told police they had not seen their mother since ealier in the morning, and they had not eaten lunch or dinner the day before, police said.

Police responded to the home and found the door completely open. Police repeatedly rang the doorbell and announced their presence with no response, police said.

Concerned for the well-being of anyone inside, police entered the home and continued announcing their presence, police said.

After several minutes, Fitzwater came downstairs from a bedroom, police said.

Fitzwater did not know the whereabouts of her children and had not seen them since 9:40 a.m., police said.

Fitzwater claimed to have left her children in the care of a 12-year-old, police said.

The 12-year-old left the home the night before on a trip, and had been there that day at all, police said.

Fitzwater was taken into custody. She was charged with two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children, two misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a small amount of marijuana, police said.

Fitzwater was arraigned by District Judge Maurice Saylor of Gilbertsville, New Hanover Township, and committed to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of 10 percent of $5,000 cash bail, police said.

The children were placed with a relative by Montgomery County Children and Youth Services.

The next day, on Jan. 16, at 10:52 p.m., Towamencin Police responded to a reported hit and run accident on the 1400 block of Village Way, police said.

A vehicle parked on Village Way had been struck and the striking vehicle reportedly suffered heavy damage and sparks were coming from underneath it as it fled, police said.

Police located a vehicle with heavy front-end damage on Sumneytown Pike at Finch Run. The driver was identified as Fitzwater, who had been released from Montgomery County Prison after posting bail on Jan. 15, police said.

Fitzwater was arrested and taken into custody. She was later released, pending issuance of a summons for DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and other motor vehicle charges, police said.

However, police filed for revocation of Fitzwater's original bail through District Judge Harold Borek on Jan. 18.

On Jan. 18, Borek issued a bench warrant and Towamencin Police arrested Fitzwater, police said.

At a bail revocation hearing held on Jan. 19 before Borek, Fitzwater was committed to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $25,000 cash bail, police said.

A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 24 at 12:15 p.m.

Taxed More January 20, 2012 at 12:59 AM
So how much is this fine lady costing the taxpayers?
Anonymous man January 20, 2012 at 03:42 AM
I suspect after this fine ladies husband was killed in his car accident she did not recover well. I am not excusing her actions just not judging. But yes someone should have been more diligent about there grandchildren that lived right done the street. Making sure that if they run around the neighborhood like wild animals since the day they have been able to walk you interfere for there sake. Then again on a larger note this is the way our society has changed were there is less interaction between generations even and the way of thinking that it takes a village to raise a child.
Someone January 20, 2012 at 04:18 AM
You obviously know the situation, if it takes a village, then where were you? Her issues with recklessness and abandonment started well before her husband passing. Those grandparents have done a lot, picked her up off the floor, delt with her physical abuse, and fed and clothed those kids when they were "running around like wild animals since they could walk". She ha had every opportunity and given tools to recover and she would take it. So instead of blaming the grandparents for her not taking care of the kids, blame her for being unable to cope with being an adult.
Guy January 21, 2012 at 07:24 PM
She was a wonderful parent to both my sister and I. We are both "grown up" and have children of our own. She worked very hard to make sure that the house was spotless and that we were cared for. She always cooked my favorite foods, cut my hair and drove me to school activities although her and I didn't get along much. Our father's passing was incredibly hard on all of us but mostly on Tina. She was so young with still 3 kids at home to care for. As for the last person who responded "Someone"... I hope one day you know whats its like to have a heart, have blood rush through your viens and bleed like the rest of us. You are cold and disconnected from feelings. I'm just going to stop.. You aren't even worth my time
jxjipper February 02, 2012 at 02:25 AM
This lady has obviously no use in regular society.

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