VALLEJO, Calif. (KTXL) — A mother is behind bars after leaving her 3-month-old baby inside a car for half an hour while getting her nails done Tuesday, according to the Vallejo Police Department.
Officers said they responded to a shopping center on Plaza Drive near Turner Parkway around 4:20 p.m. after receiving reports of an infant who had been left alone inside a car.
When they arrived at the shopping center, police said witnesses were surrounding a car with all of its windows rolled down. In the back was a 3-month-old baby in a car seat.
Police said the temperature was 81 degrees outside, with temperatures slightly higher inside the car, and the baby was left alone between 30 and 45 minutes.
Officers searched the shopping plaza and found the child’s mother, identified as 19-year-old Selena Cook.
Cook was at a salon and told police she was getting her nails done while the baby was left unattended.
Officers arrested Cook on charges of child endangerment.
The baby was taken to a nearby hospital for a check-up before being handed over to Child Protective Services.
Vallejo police officials are reminding parents and guardians “that leaving a baby unattended in a vehicle is illegal, puts a child in great danger of harm or death and can lead to criminal charges,” according to the release.
“One of the most fundamental responsibilities we have as parents is to protect and care for our children above our own needs,” Vallejo Chief of Police Shawny Williams said in Wednesday’s release. “As a parent, it was extremely disheartening to know that a 3-month-old was left in a hot car unattended and defenseless.”
California law states children aged 6 or younger cannot be left unattended inside a vehicle without a person age 12 or older supervising.