Three children were left alone in a hot car in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Manchester, Connecticut, Wednesday afternoon and the woman who is accused of leaving them alone has been arrested, according to police.
An employee of the Walmart at 420 Buckland Hills Drive contacted police around 2:30 p.m. and said young children left in a car were crying, police said. Officers who responded found a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old child in a Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
The windows were slightly cracked and two of the children were in car seats while the other was lying across a seat, police said. One of the children appeared unresponsive and to be sweating.
The van was not locked, so officers were able to open a door and get to the children.
“Whatever temperature it was, it was much hotter than 82 degrees and obviously would put the kids in a very precarious situation and harmful situation,” Captain Christopher Davis, of Manchester Police, said.
Police estimate the temperature inside the car was more than 100 degrees.
Police identified the woman who was responsible for the children as 33-year-old Lashonna Chambers, of Bloomfield. They said she came out of the store soon after officers arrived and said she had only been gone for about 10 minutes.
It was around 82 degrees outside and the time, police said, and they determined Chambers had left the children alone for around 25 minutes.
Medics determined the children were OK and they were turned over to the custody of another guardian. Police said the state Department of Children and Families was notified.
Chambers was arrested and charged with three counts each of reckless endangerment in the first degree and risk of injury to a minor.
It is illegal to leave children under the age of 11 unattended in a car, according to police.
Bond was set at $10,000. She posted it and is due in court on June 12, according to police.