71ºF

Day care worker arrested after leaving child in van over an hour

Woman found child crying in hot van

Cheryl Hannah

LEESBURG, Fla. – An employee of New Center Ministries Inc. left a 3-year-old child in a van for over an hour in the heat, the Leesburg Police Department said.

Cheryl Hannah arrived at the Via Port Mall Friday around 10:10 a.m. to see a movie at the AMC movie theater, located at 10401 U.S. Highway 441with a group of children from the day care center, police said.

The children and Hannah went inside the theater to watch a movie.

Another shopper, Christina Bivins, was walking through the parking lot, when she heard a child crying inside the day care center's van. Bivins was able to get the child out of the van and contacted 911 at approximately 11:14 a.m.

The 3-year-old boy was checked out by medical personnel and was cleared medically. He was later released to his mother's custody in good condition.

Hannah was arrested and charged with leaving a child under the age of 6 in an unattended vehicle for more than 15 minutes, police said.

Other day care workers arrived to transport the remaining children back to the day care center.

Leesburg Fire and Rescue got a temperature reading from inside the van of 117 degrees where the child was sitting, and 137 degrees on the roof of the van.

Ms. Bivins has been praised for hearing the child and taking immediate action to address the matter.