- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—A 32-year-old woman was arrested and charged with endangering a child after officers reportedly found the woman’s 1-year-old daughter unattended in a car while temperatures were recorded at 102 degrees.

At about 6:53 p.m. Friday officers were called to the 800 block of Tower Drive to check on a child.

Officers found a 1-year-old girl unattended inside a Nissan Armada parked in a parking lot sweating and crying, according to a release from the Odessa Police Department.

Officers checked the temperature, which was reportedly recorded at 102 degrees.

A woman told police that she originally found the child at about 6:17 p.m. Friday and waited for police to arrive at 6:34 p.m. the same day, according to the release.

The woman also said that during that time, no one came to check on the child, according to the release.

The mother, Dalila Juarez Carrasco, reportedly arrived at the scene at about 6:45 p.m. Friday from the Tower Park Building at 850 Tower Drive.

Police arrested and charged Carrasco with endangering a child, a state jail felony. LeSueur said that Child Protective Services were notified and the child was released to family.

Steve LeSueur, spokesman for the OPD, said there are a lot of factors that go into cases similar to the one police were called to Friday evening.

“It is a combination of a lot of things, for example how long it was, how hot or cold it is, and other potentially dangerous conditions,” LeSueur said. “We basically have to look at the totality of the circumstances.”

LeSueur noted that similar calls come up “every couple of months”.

He also asked parents to avoid leaving their children in the car altogether.

“The main thing we recommend is that people just don’t do it,” LeSueur said. “Not only is it against the law but you are placing you children in danger.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports temperatures can rise 20 degrees inside a vehicle in only 10 minutes.

“A person commits an offense if he intentionally of knowingly leaves a child in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing the child is younger than seven years of age, not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older,” according to Texas State Law Code 22.10.

Under state law the crime is a class C misdemeanor however, if the child is injured it becomes a felony, which could result in up to two years in jail and a fine up to $10,000, according to the state law.

Brad Timmons, police chief for the Ector County Hospital District, said that house bill 2574 passed in the latest legislative session now requires providers of childbirth services to educate parents on heatstroke and the danger of leaving children unattended in a vehicle.

Timmons said parents can put items in the front or back seat to remind them they have a child in the car.

“It is crazy people don’t think about their most precious cargo,” Timmons said. “I don’t understand why this has to happen, but unfortunately it has.”

Carrasco, 2042 N. Tripp Ave., was released Saturday from the Ector County Detention Center on a $7,500 bond.

Contact Jared Wilson at 432-333-7786


(c)2015 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)

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