ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Ormond Beach police say a woman left a 1-year-old child and a 4-year-old child alone in a running vehicle for about half an hour as she shopped inside Walmart.
Police said they were called to a Walmart on Granada Boulevard Thursday about 3:15 p.m. by a man who said he was walking to his vehicle when he noticed the door of a Nissan Altima was open and there was a child screaming for help.
Records show the car was running when an officer arrived and both children were in booster seats. The 4-year-old child had a phone in his hand to watch YouTube videos but was unable to properly operate it, according to the report.
Authorities said they asked customer service to page the owner of the Nissan but 26-year-old Brittany Guerrero didn’t hear the message so she didn’t return to her car until about 3:50 p.m. and at that point she was confused as to why the officers were there.
She said she only intended to leave the children in the car for less than 30 minutes while she shopped and she did it because the 1-year-old child was napping, according to the affidavit. She gave the children her phone so they could stay entertained and showed the 4-year-old how to call someone in case of an emergency, records show.
She claimed she left them with “a little bit of juice” but no other food or water in the vehicle, according to the report. Police said the juice bottles were empty by the time they arrived.
The children’s grandfather came to the scene to take custody of them.
Guerrero was arrested on two child neglect charges.
Ormond Beach Police Officer Keith Walker said the children should not have been left alone but believes the woman learned from the incident.
“I don’t think she’s going to do that anymore," Walker said. "I think it’s going to be a lesson learned.”