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Home News-Telegram News Three jailed for leaving children in a hot car for more than 20 minutes

Three jailed for leaving children in a hot car for more than 20 minutes

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Three Wylie residents, two women and a man, were jailed Friday afternoon after allegedly leaving children unattended in a closed vehicle in a parking lot for more than 20 minutes. 

Emergency medical services personnel were called to check on the three children, especially the two infants who were reportedly sweating profusely  when removed from their car seats.

Blanca Vargas-Aguilar, 22, and Maria Araceli Arrendondo, 33, both of Wylie, were arrested by Hopkins County Sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Fenimore for abandoning or endangering a child and tampering with evidence. David Vizcaino, 30, of Wylie was arrested for abandoning or endangering a child.

Deputies were dispatched at 2:26 p.m. Friday to the parking lot across the street from the Hopkins County Attorney’s Office on Jefferson Street, where children were  reported to have been left locked inside a vehicle. Fenimore arrived within two minutes of receiving the call and confirmed children had been left in a black GMC Yukon.

As he pulled in behind the vehicle, Fenimore saw three adults — two women and a man — walking across the street from the tax office. As he got out of his patrol unit to make contact with the vehicle, the man ran across the street and got into the vehicle from the driver’s side door. He refused to make contact with the officer and, after shutting the driver’s door, was instructed to get out, Fenimore noted on arrest reports.

The sheriff’s officer reported clearly seeing two small infants in car seats in the back of the vehicle; they had not been with the individuals as they walked across the street.

The two women ran to the passengers side of the vehicle, where the younger woman hurriedly got inside. Others officers arrived to assist in interviewing the trio about the situation.

Fenimore went around to the passenger side of the GMC and opened the door. The 22-year-old woman was sitting in the back seat, removing one infant, a 5-month-old, from a car seat. The 33-year-old woman also attempted to get inside the vehicle, but remained at the side of the vehicle. The older woman reportedly reached in to get the other baby out of the car seat, reports note.

The infants were sweating profusely and, according to Fenimore’s report, at least one appeared non-responsive. Both women, the officer reported, were attempting to wipe the sweat from the infants’ faces and bodies by rubbing and wiping the babies with their own clothing. A check of one car seat showed it to be wet to the touch, which he believed was due to the amount of sweat coming from the infant. There was also a 3-year-old in the vehicle, according to the arrest report.

At that point, officers called for emergency medical services to check on the infants and pre-schooler, and Child Protective Services representatives were also notified. The children were checked out by EMS and released, according to the officer.

Upon investigation, it was found the three adults had gone to the office across the street for more than 20 minutes. The vehicle was not on and the windows were not down to allow air to circulate in the vehicle to keep the children from getting too hot, Fenimore noted.

CPS staff conducted an emergency removal of the infants and toddler from the adults, who were arrested. The vehicle was impounded by a local wrecker service, arrest reports noted.

Fenimore said all three were charged with abandoning or endangering of a child. The temperature outside was reported to be 72 degrees, but felt like 77 due to conditions: a clear day with no cloud cover, which officers estimated to have been long enough for the temperature inside the vehicle to increase significantly during the 20 minutes the adults were gone, placing the children in danger, the sheriff’s officer noted.

Both women were also charged with tampering with evidence due to their attempts to wipe away evidence of the children being left in the hot vehicle long enough to sweat profusely, according to Fenimore.

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