CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — A Leander father who police say left his 4-year-old girl in a hot car for approximately 20 minutes while he went shopping is now charged with endangering a child.
According to an arrest affidavit, on July 23, Cedar Park police were called to the Academy parking lot at 1104 C-Bar Ranch Trail around 1 p.m. in reference to a child locked in a SUV that wasn’t running. When the officer arrived, he saw the vehicle with the left rear passenger side window cracked and a little girl sitting in a car seat.
Police say the child was crying and “appeared to be sweating profusely around her face and chest.” The outside temperature that day was 99.7 degrees. A few minutes after the officer arrived, 38-year-old Nadeem Asrar approached the vehicle and opened the trunk. When the officer asked Asrar if he left his child in the vehicle, he replied, “just for a second, when I went to get the stuff from the store.”
The father told police he left his daughter in the running car because she wanted to watch videos. However, the person who called 911 said the vehicle was never running the 5-10 minutes she was waiting by the SUV. The witness said she only noticed the child in the car next to her because her son said he heard someone crying.
“Something where the temperature is skyrocketing very quickly, it doesn’t take long for that to have an ill effect on a child or kill them,” said Cpl. Fletcher Crimbring with the Cedar Park Police Department.
Initially, Asrar was issued a citation for leaving his child in the vehicle; but, once investigators reviewed surveillance video from the store, it showed he was in the store for nearly 20 minutes. Due to those developments, police cancelled the citation and charged him with endangering a child.
Kory Hurd, 29, is also charged with child endangerment. Court records show Hurd left his 15-month-old daughter in the car for 30 minutes, while he went to a job interview in North Austin last Friday.
A witness working nearby told police that a passerby came into her business around 10:30 a.m., saying there was a baby crying and screaming in a parked car. The witness then went outside and checked the car doors, which were unlocked. The witness described the baby as “warm to the touch and sweating profusely.” An Austin detective describes the heat index as 90 degrees at the time.
Police say Hurd returned to the car around 10:35 a.m. and told the detective he thought his job interview would only take 5 or 10 minutes. Hurd said once he realized the interview was taking longer, he did not know why he didn’t check on his daughter, except that he “really needed the job.” Police say it’s not worth the risk.
“As a matter of ‘I’m going in and coming out in 30 seconds,’ I still take my daughter in with me,” explains Cpl. Crimbring of his own daughter. “I would never leave them alone because you’ve got this and a thousand other things that could go wrong.”
Whether a car is hot, police say it is illegal to leave a child younger than 7 years old alone in a car.