Local News

Raleigh dad arrested after toddler crosses four lanes of traffic

Posted July 13, 2011
Updated July 14, 2011

— Raleigh police charged a father with misdemeanor child abuse Wednesday after his 3-year-old daughter left home and walked across four lanes of traffic on Lynn Road.

The girl was not injured.

Aaron Harris Rush, 27, of 920 Hearthridge Court, told police that he was home asleep because he "stayed up until 6 a.m. for no reason," according to court documents. His bond was set at $1,000.

Police said the little girl, Katelynn, crossed Lynn Road and then walked several blocks down North Hills Drive before someone noticed her and called police. Aaron Harris Rush Raleigh dad arrested after daughter walks in traffic

"Usually, she’ll get up and get her toys and play, but they said she had walked out of the house and walked down the street," Rush told WRAL News after his arrest. "(Katelynn) said she was going to her mom's house."

Rush says he has a heart condition, which makes his sleep patterns erratic. He called the experience one of the most frightening of his life.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, probably 100 on scary. It was a frightening moment. I’m lucky that she didn’t get hurt. It was amazing," he said. "Don’t judge a book by the cover, because kids are growing up fast nowadays. They learn and they learn quick. They watch everything."


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  • imsosorry Jul 15, 2011

    what is the difference in this and the little girl who wondered off, she wasnt being watched either, but no one was arrested in that case, not being watched is not being watched, whether the parent is awake or asleep.

  • imsosorry Jul 15, 2011

    Just sayin', my child will NOT be in the bathroom with me, no matter how small they may be.

  • monami Jul 15, 2011

    If this guy doesn't know that sleeping while his kid is up and about is dangerous, he doesn't deserve visitation. At a minimum, he should have his place child proofed properly, although even if he prevents escape, she could still decide to get on a chair and use the stovetop (yes I know someone to whom this happened). This is why parents of young children are SO TIRED, because they are awake watching out for their children. Duh.

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Jul 15, 2011

    Sorry, but my child will not be in the bathroom with me, that is abuse if you ask me.
    Born and raised JOCO
    How is a small child in the bathroom abuse. Unless you're molesting them, it's not abuse- it's keeping your little one where you know they are.

  • gpcatgirl Jul 15, 2011

    I really hope to heck alot of you don't have kids. As far as what to do about taking a shower when you have kids and are a single parent let me just say this I was a single mom when my kids were little and you learn to take your showers when they nap.

  • Fireflies Rock Jul 15, 2011

    Child Abuse? No, Child Endangerment perhaps would have been a better charge. Gee, the child left the house, she wasn't put out there by herself by her dad. How many of us could have had our young children walk outside, but were lucky enough that they didn't? Kids are pretty clever at opening locks when they want to be. I disagree with this charge.

  • dae66 Jul 14, 2011

    Yes, this can happen to anyone and the fact that they have arrested him might mean they have evidence of something more than just a simple "mistake." We don't know.

  • imsosorry Jul 14, 2011

    Sorry, but my child will not be in the bathroom with me, that is abuse if you ask me.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jul 14, 2011

    bigpink - "A child is expected to be awake during the day, though. I don't think the dad should have been arrested, but I do think he needs to stay awake during the day and/or make other arrangments for the child's care. He got a wake-up call that didn't end in tragedy; this is his chance to step up his game."


  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jul 14, 2011

    bill0 - "Absolutely nutty comments on here today. Your average 3 year old has the ability to wake up at any time and easily defeat whatever safety device you have installed in your home. The only thing keeping them from tragedy is either grace or luck."

    Or a good vigilant awake parent.