A Florida mother who left her child in a hot car and complained that the back of the police car was “too hot” is charged with child neglect, reports WFTV.
Colleen Walker, 30, was arrested after police were called about a child left in a hot car in a South Daytona Dollar General parking lot.
Police say they found the 5-year-old alone in the locked car, sweating profusely and visibly distressed.
The rear driver’s side window was cracked, but the car was parked in direct sunlight away from any shade.
The person who called 911 said the child had been in the car for about 20 minutes and was crying. The witness told WESH that she didn’t know what else to do except call the police.
“He was hanging onto the steering wheel and just screaming. It broke my heart. I just wish I would’ve been able to go over and grab him out of the car myself, but in these days and times it’s a scary thing to do so I went ahead and waited for the police to get there and they were there in a minute.”
Police dashcam video shows the mother arguing with police that her child had only been in the car for a little over 10 minutes, saying that “he wasn’t in the car for two hours, it was like, 12 minutes.”
The store manager and surveillance video confirms that Walker was in the store with her 3-year-old daughter for nearly 30 minutes.
Firefighters on the scene told Walker that her child could have easily died in half that time.
“We get cases and cases where, 10, 15 minutes the kid is dead.”
One of the firefighters told the mother, “Don’t get all huffy and puffy because I’m not going to feel bad for you. I don’t care.”
When the fire department checked the temperature in the car, it registered at 107 degrees.
Lt. Dan Dietrich said that Walker complained about the heat in the patrol car on the way to the station.
“She was complaining that the backseat of our patrol car was too hot on her way to the jail, and asked the officer to turn the AC up.”
Walker’s bond was set at $5,000. If she is convicted, she could be looking at up to 5 years in prison.
Both of the children were put in their father’s custody.
[Feature Photo: South Daytona Police Department]