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Mother left baby in car at Taco Bell, passed out nearby, police say

Sacramento police are investigating a woman they believe was intoxicated when she passed out at a Taco Bell, about 20 feet away from where she had left her 6-month-old child inside a car.

Customers noticed the vehicle -- the windows down, radio on and engine running -- in the parking lot Monday morning at least an hour before an employee parked next to it and saw the baby inside, Sacramento police spokeswoman Michele Gigante said. Employees and customers got the baby out of the car and called police, who arrived just before noon. 

Responding officers discovered the baby's mother, who appeared to be intoxicated, Gigante said. She was taken to an area hospital.

The baby was not hurt but was taken to the hospital as a precaution, Gigante said. Child Protective Services later took the baby into custody.

The mother remained in the hospital late Tuesday, but officials plan to request an arrest warrant for child endangerment, Gigante said. The investigation was ongoing.

Gigante noted temperatures were about 80 degrees midday Monday, calling the incident a reminder not to leave children or animals inside vehicles on hot days.

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Twitter: @katemather | Google+
kate.mather@latimes.com

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