WACO, Texas – Waco Police report a 26-year-old woman has been arrested after officers found an 18-month-old girl had been left alone in a car while the woman was tanning inside a local salon.
Gabriella Ayisha Lazarine was booked into the McLennan County Jail late Tuesday night on a charge of Abandoning or Endangering a Child with Intent to Return.
Police got a call at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday from a citizen who reported the child was alone in a car at the Tanfastic Tanning Salon at 2444 West Loop 340.
The car was gone when officers arrived, but in speaking to attendants at the salon learned the woman booked a 12-minute tanning session and the child had been alone in the car about 15 minutes.
Police were able to determine her identity and went to her home in the 2300 block of Washington Avenue where she was arrested.
The child was left with her father.
Even though it was at night, temperatures were still high.
“Temperatures at 103 degrees or feel like temperatures of 103 degrees can be dangerous when you’re outside. So assuming that you’re in a car, that car will probably heat up as well – assuming that there is no sun out there. It can be pretty dangerous.” says FOX44 Meteorologist Emily Kaye.
Records show children have died in cars when temperatures were as low as 60 degrees. Not only is it dangerous to leave a child in alone car, it’s also illegal.
“In the state of Texas, it’s a violation of the law to leave a child in a vehicle that’s younger than seven [years old] for more than five minutes, unless that child is accompanied by somebody that’s 14 years of age or older,” says DPS Sgt. Justin Baker.
According to Kids and Cars, an organization which researches child car deaths and how to prevent them, 55 percent of car deaths happen when a parent forgets their child in a car.
Link to Kids and Cars Organization.