Florida Woman Arrested After Allegedly Leaving 5-Year-Old Son in Hot Car

June 4, 2019 Updated: June 4, 2019

A 19-year-old Florida woman was arrested after she allegedly left her child in a hot car in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, according to the city’s police department in a statement on June 3.

Temperatures this week were in excess of 90 degrees Fahrenheit in DeFuniak Springs.

Police responded to a retail store parking lot after reports of “a child locked in a vehicle with the windows rolled up and not running,” according to the police department’s Facebook post.

When police arrived, they found Walton Fire Rescue officials on the scene trying to access the child, identified as a 5-year-old.

The boy was found in the backseat and “sweating profusely,” the office wrote. “His clothing was completely drenched in sweat. The boy was immediately treated by EMS personnel for heat exhaustion,” the post said.

The child was rushed to a local hospital for an evaluation but was later released.

During an investigation into the matter, the boy’s mother, identified as Katarina Felipe by local news station MyPandhandle, walked up to emergency personnel.

Felipe stated that her son didn’t want to walk with her and asked to stay in the car, according to police.

She was then arrested and taken to the Walton County Jail and was charged with child neglect.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Unit was also informed and responded to ensure the boy’s wellbeing, ABC4 reported.

Dangerous Situation

Heatkills.org, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that temperatures range between 80 and 100 degrees, the interior of the car can get to 130 to 172 degrees.

“Children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 63 degrees. Basically, the car becomes a greenhouse. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees,” stated Jan Null, adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, according to the website.

Recent Cases

In Alabama last week, a 4-month-old child was reportedly left inside a hot vehicle for 12 hours.

Jermius Scott, a bystander, saw the child as he was heading to his car in Mobile, WPMI reported. “When I saw him cry it almost made me cry, so I hit one time and it bust,” he said of the child.

“I see the baby turning purple, it was sweating, I looked at the scalp, it was dry and had dandruff,” said James, according to the report “So, when they got the baby out of the car and the back was wet, the Pamper was wet, the baby wanted to cry but it couldn’t cry, I’m like, oh, man.”

The child was taken to a hospital. An investigation is ongoing.

In early May, a toddler died after being left inside a hot car in New Jersey.

Mayor Meir Lichtenstein said warm temperatures contributed to this girl’s death. “It seems like wonderful parents. They have one other child that is approximately 4 1/2 years old that is also a girl, and they are very saddened,” Lakewood Mayor Meir Lichtenstein told CBS New York. “I was actually at the hospital and I saw the parents. They’re extremely saddened by what happened.”

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