SC grandma accused of leaving child alone in hot car
A 3-year-old child was in a hot car when she cut her clothes to get help, South Carolina officials said.
Now the child’s grandmother is accused of leaving her in the Honda without air conditioning as temperatures approached 90 degrees.
The grandmother, a Myrtle Beach resident, was arrested over the weekend in at least the third hot car incident in Charleston so far this month.
On August 6, officials said two people were outside a Big Lots store on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard when they saw a naked child. The girl was inside a Honda but had her head out the window and the door cracked, the Charleston Police Department wrote in an incident report.
“They became concerned for the child and approached the car only to realize the car was turned off and there was no air conditioning,” the officers wrote.
The two called the police and gave water to the girl, who allegedly told them “she opened the door and cut her clothes with scissors because she was hot”.
Meanwhile, the Big Lots store made an announcement to find the car’s owner. That’s when the 3-year-old’s grandmother walked out of the store “while hiding” items in her handbag, police say.
Officials said the woman told them she had been in the store for about 25 minutes and had left the car on.
But these claims have been disputed. A Big Lots employee reported that the grandmother spent around an hour in the store and was accused of having her car keys ‘around her neck’ when she entered.
“She also claimed that she did not bring the child into the store because she was already naked,” an officer wrote. “However, the child herself said she had cut her clothes in the car while waiting for her grandmother. I found scissors and pieces of cut children‘s clothes in the back seat of the car.
The child – who first responders said was ‘sweaty and hot to the touch’ – was taken to a children’s hospital.
While police said Big Lots did not want to pursue a shoplifting case, the grandmother was charged with unlawful conduct towards a child. She was incarcerated in the Charleston County Jail and later posted bond, records show.
The arrest is part of a string of recent burning car cases reported in Charleston.
On August 1, police said a boy found in an SUV was sweating “profusely” while his mother shopped in a TJ Maxx.
Two days later, a woman was charged with leaving her friend’s baby in a car while she was turned off.
It can be dangerous to leave young children alone in vehicles for any length of time, and more than a dozen hot car deaths have been reported this year, McClatchy News reported.
This story was originally published August 9, 2022 11:22 a.m.