US

Police: Man Left Child in Locked Car While Shoplifting

By Web Staff

Police say they’ve arrested a man who allegedly left his 1-year-old son in a locked car while he was shoplifting from a Walmart store.

Authorities in Huntsville, Alabama, say 27-year-old Travis Gill Sasser was arrested on July 30. He’s charged with theft and domestic violence.

News outlets report the man is accused of leaving his son inside a locked car outside a Walmart for about an hour while he went inside to steal a $259 blender on Monday.

Police say the man dropped his keys while running out and realized he couldn’t get into the vehicle. Police say he then called 911 and was arrested.

Police say the child was taken to a hospital and released after an evaluation.

Court records aren’t available to show whether Sasser has a lawyer.

1-Year-Old Twins Die After Father Left Them in Car

In a similar hot car related incident last week, 1-year-old twins died after their father left them in his car while he worked an eight-hour shift.

Juan Rodriguez, 39, told the police, “I blanked out. My babies are dead. I killed my babies,” prosecutors said on Saturday, July 27.

Rodriguez said he thought he had dropped the twins off at daycare before he went to his job at a Bronx hospital in New York City on Friday, July 26, according to a criminal complaint filed by the district attorney’s office.

“He carried on with his day,” the New York Post reported that Assistant District Attorney Jaime Breslin told the judge at Rodriguez’s arraignment. “He forgot his children in the seats.”

Rodriguez sobbed as he pleaded not guilty to two counts each of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. Rodriguez faces up to four years in prison for the criminal negligent homicide charge and up to 15 years for the manslaughter charge.

He was released late Saturday on $100,000 bail.

Investigators believe Rodriguez parked a silver Honda Accord with the twins, Phoenix and Luna, in car seats in the back. It appeared that he drove off after finishing work before realizing the children were in the car and frantically summoning help, police said.

The boy and girl were pronounced dead at the scene.

“This is a tragedy of horrific proportions,” Rodriguez’s lawyer, Joey Jackson, told the Post.

Hot Car Deaths

According to NoHeatStroke.org, 803 children have died in the United States due to Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH) since 1998. All of these deaths were preventable.

Explaining how the heatstroke deaths happen, the organization said: “The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively ‘transparent’ to the sun’s shortwave radiation and are warmed little. However, this shortwave energy does heat objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard, steering wheel, or seat temperatures often are in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees F.”

Every year, an average of 38 children under the age of 15 die from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle, according to Injury Facts.

In 2018, 52 children died after being left in a hot car.

“In more than half of these fatalities, the child was forgotten in the vehicle by a parent or caregiver,” said the Injury Facts.

Epoch Times reporter Simon Veazey, The Associated Press and The CNN Wire contributed to this report.