Mother of 5 Jen Delgado has her hands full. “As a parent it's easy to get distracted," she said. But when she's out running errands, the kids always go inside the stores with her. “We count off make sure everyone's out,” said Delgado.
She was surprised to hear that a 22-year-old woman was arrested in a Wal-Mart parking lot on FM 1640 in Richmond Thursday afternoon accused of leaving her 5-year-old child and baby alone inside a running car. Police say the AC was blowing hot air. “No excuse. No excuse,” said mother of 3 Mariana Garcia. “Very dangerous, you can lose your kids, there's a lot of people losing kids like that," said Garcia.
The Richmond Police Department says since 2010, at least 35 Texas children have died while left alone in hot cars. “Inside that vehicle it is a lot hotter than it is outside, just rolling the windows down doesn't cut it,” said Lt. Lowell Neinast.
Several hours after that first arrest, a 36-year-old father from Needville left his 2 young, sleeping kids alone in the same parking lot with his car off, but keys still in the ignition. “Take your children into the store with you, is it really worth leaving them in the vehicle,” said Lt. Neinast.
In both cases concerned customers called the cops. Both parents returned to their vehicles just as officers were arriving. “They want kids, you got to take them off and take them wherever you got to go, that's part of life," said Garcia.
Now both parents are charged with 2 counts each of endangering a child -- a state jail felony. “People don't stop to think that yes, it only takes a minute for something to happen, less than a minute for something to happen, my kids are a lot more precious than a minute," said Lt. Neinast.
Both parents were being held in the Fort Bend County jail on $12,000 bond each. The children were evaluated by emergency medical personnel and released to other family members. Richmond Police say if you see a child left alone in a car call 9-1-1.