Jupiter woman not facing charges after leaving child in hot car

Published: Jul. 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM EDT
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By Elizabeth Harrington

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - A Jupiter woman will not serve jail time after, Jupiter police say, she left her child inside a hot car while she went shopping. Cases like this have shined a spotlight on the nationwide problem. That's why child safety advocates plan to hold an event Tuesday morning to raise awareness.

"I'm in the TJ Maxx parking lot, and there is a baby in a locked car with the windows closed," says a woman who called 911.

It's the first time we've heard the emergency call made on April 25.

"No parents, the cars not on, the windows are barely cracked, and it's almost 100 degrees outside," says the caller.

Jupiter police say the toddler was left alone inside the parked SUV. Fire Rescue then gave instructions to the woman who called 911. "They're saying to break the window," says the caller, "The baby's in the backseat."

A police officer broke a window to rescue the child. The mother, Arlinda Wiebe, was charged with child abuse. According to the police report, Wiebe told the officer she left the child in the car because, "He was sleeping, and it was just a few minutes".

"The baby looked very red, stressed. He was sweaty," said witness Marietta Lorenzo, "He was only wearing a diaper, and they were putting oxygen on the baby."

Her case has already been closed according to the Palm Beach County courthouse.  A judge ordered her to take a parenting class. In a statement her attorney, Darren Shull, says "Arlinda is terribly embarrassed".

There was another case a few days later in April in Delray Beach. Police arrested a father after his child was left inside a hot car. A witness opened a car door and took the child out.

The Children's Services Council of Palm Beach will hold a news conference Tuesday morning in Boynton Beach.

One of the things they want people to know is how hot a car can get. In the Wiebe case, Jupiter police wrote in their report that after 10 minutes, it was about 100 degrees inside the SUV.

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