Man locks child in 115-degree car to go shopping

BURBANK — A Glendale man was arrested at 11:45 a.m. Thursday after he allegedly left his 14-month-old daughter inside a sweltering 115-degree car to fill a prescription at the Costco in Burbank, police said.

Paramedics checked the baby and determined that she was OK after being locked inside the car for at least 15 minutes, Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said.

Officers are still trying to determine whether the baby, who was taken to the Police Department, will be released to her mother or the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

Edik Magardomyan, 38, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment immediately after he exited the store on the 1000 block of West Burbank Boulevard, where he had been filling a prescription for eyeglasses, Quesada said.

“He was parked in the sun, not even in the shade,” Quesada added.

A concerned shopper spotted the baby sleeping and sweating inside the car and noticed that no parents were around, prompting her to call police.

When police arrived to the store’s parking lot, they found the baby and discovered the car’s doors were locked, Quesada said.

The car’s windows were rolled down slightly, so officers tried reaching into the car to unlock it, he said.

A Good Samaritan with petite arms offered to help police and was able to slip her arm inside the cabin to unlock the door, Quesada said.

Police removed the baby from the car and poured cold water on her head to keep her cool, Quesada said.

Meanwhile, police searched for Magardomyan, who exited the store about 10 minutes later, he said.

“He was surprised,” Quesada said.

Magardomyan told police that he had only been gone for a few minutes, but Quesada said officers were at the parking lot for at least 10 minutes. They estimated that the child had been locked in the car for at least 15 minutes.

Temperatures on Thursday were expected to reach 90 degrees in Burbank, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials measured the car’s interior temperature at 115 degrees, Quesada said.

The Glendale Sunrise Rotary has been campaigning against such instances for about four years, group member Stephen Ropfogel said.

“A minute can become a half-an-hour and it doesn’t take that long, even if the child doesn’t die, for brain damage to occur,” he said.

Rotary’s “Not even for a minute” campaign advises parents of the dangers of leaving their children unattended inside vehicles.

“These are the types of crimes that individuals have to get involved in,” he said in urging the public not to hesitate to call authorities. “Just know you are going to save a child by calling the police.”

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