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Man charged with choking, assaulting boy in Lansford

A Lansford man has been charged with choking a boy.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Sgt. Shawn Nunemacher of the Lansford Police Department in the case against Rodney Rivers:

At 8:54 a.m. on Dec. 9, 2021, Nunemacher received a ChildLine for a 9-year-old boy who said he was afraid to go home, because he is scared of Rivers.

The boy said Rivers, 44, had pushed him onto a bed and began choking him, and that he then left with his sister and went to a friend’s house. From there, they called his mother and told her what happened.

The boy’s mother took him to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The boy said Rivers strangled him and reported that he had lost consciousness, had a sore throat, loss of memory, coughing and a headache.

The victim said while his mother was at work Rivers yelled at him and he went to his room to speak with him.

The boy noticed several open beer bottles. Rivers asked for a bag of chips, and the boy returned with the chips, but Rivers said it was the wrong one.

He said Rivers began choking him. When he let go, the victim told his sister, and they fled the house. After this incident, Rivers went to Ohio and never returned.

The boy also said another time Rivers punched him in the chest over cleaning his room. He also said Rivers punched him in the right side of the face, while his mother was at work.

The victim said he has witnessed Rivers assaulting his mother.

He said Rivers would sell pills and white powder in a plastic square bag, giving the boy the powder to take downstairs to give to different people who would give him money, which he would then give to Rivers. He said Rivers told him not to tell anyone.

Rivers faces charges on two counts of simple assault; and one count each of strangulation and endangering the welfare of children.

He remains free on unsecured bail, and is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing July 13 before District Judge Casimir T. Kosciolek of Lansford.