A Nashville-area mother has been charged with a felony for allegedly leaving her child alone in a car late at night so she could go shopping.
WSMV-TV reports that around 10:30 p.m. Friday, 20-year-old Kateria Williams left her 2-year-old son in her vehicle for about an hour and a half while she went shopping at a department store.
Someone going past the car, a Chrysler 300, observed the child crying and notified law enforcement.
Williams left the vehicle running and had the air conditioner on, according to the television station.
When police officers arrived, they discovered that the boy had urinated on himself, which, because of the cold air, caused his body temperature to drop to nearly 96 degrees,
An announcement was made in the store about the situation, but Williams is said to have told officers that she hadn’t heard the message, WKRN-TV reports.
Security camera footage shows that Williams walked back to the vehicle at least once so she could bring another child to the store while leaving the 2-year-old boy inside the car, according to police.
An ambulance crew brought the boy to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. Medical staff examined the child and later released him to his grandmother.
Police subsequently arrested Williams, who has been charged with felony child neglect. She is free on a $2,500 bond.
Reports of children left alone in vehicles tend to spike in the summer. Temperatures inside cars can become dangerously hot in a short period of time.
Every year, an average of 37 children die in the United States after being left alone in vehicles that overheat, according to the website LiveScience.