ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – There have been two incidents in August involving children being left alone in a car that has Orange County deputies and firefighters sending a warning to parents during the hot summer months.
The first incident happened at 9:26 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Walmart on Chickasaw Trail in Orlando and it was caught on camera. Video taken by a witness and given to News 6 Wednesday began with images of Orange County Firefighters trying to get into a gray Honda Civic to get to a young boy left inside. According to deputies, the mother had gone into the Walmart for just a few minutes.
"I'm so sorry," the mom can be heard telling deputies in the video. "I just needed allergy medicine."
Deputies said the boy was OK and his mother was issued a citation for leaving a child in a car unattended.
"Approximately two minutes later the mom comes out of the store," said Jeff Williamson, Orange County Sheriff's Office public information officer. "The person was not arrested; however, the person still has to go before a hearing or a judge so it could end up quite serious."
However, deputies said it wasn't as serious as the second incident, which resulted in the Tuesday arrest of Chandra Cuyler.
"It's a totally different situation from yesterday," Williamson said.
Deputies said just after after 2 p.m., a good Samaritan noticed a toddler in a car in the parking lot of the Juvenile Detention Center at 2000 E. Michigan. The car was locked with the windows up and the child was sweating. The good Samaritan talked the child into unlocking and opening the car door, and then brought the child inside the building.
Deputies said firefighters measured temperatures inside the car at 134 degrees. Firefighters said once temperatures inside the car reach 107 degrees, it can be deadly.
"Thank God for good Samaritans, thank God for that person that showed up there to take care of that child, who knows what would have happened?" Williamson said.
It wasn't until later that deputies found the child's mom inside.
"The child was sweating profusely, so just to due diligence, we took the child to Arnold Palmer Hospital, the child checked out," Williamson said.
Cuyler was checked into jail where she was charged with child neglect.
Both deputies and Orange County firefighters want these two incidents to serve as a warning that it is dangerous to ever leave your child alone in a car, no matter if it's day or night or for how long.
"Certainly, we've been preaching this sermon for a long time: Do not leave your child unattended in a car for any reason," Williamson said.