Boy, 6, Locked in Car That Heated to 120 Degrees as Babysitter Allegedly Ate and Ran Errands: Police
Police believe a California babysitter left a 6-year-old in her care alone for about two hours in a locked car early last week — the boy breaking into sweat and tears as the vehicle heated to 120 degrees inside, PEOPLE confirms.
The child was quickly hospitalized for several hours but has since recovered and was back at school the next day, authorities say.
His babysitter, 60-year-old Helen Law, of Alhambra, was taken into custody on suspicion of felony child endangerment, police said Tuesday.
A prosecutor’s spokeswoman said Friday that Law had been charged with a felony count of child abuse and was scheduled to be arraigned on July 13.
Authorities first responded after 2:20 p.m. Tuesday when a witness called 911 to report the boy was inside a locked vehicle with the windows up, according to Alhambra police.
They got the vehicle open to retrieve the boy, who was “sweating profusely and crying,” and a reading showed the interior temperature had risen to 120 degrees.
The fire department took the boy to an area hospital. He was treated for about four hours for a “mild case of heat exhaustion” and related side effects, according to Alhambra Lt. Eddie Elizalde.
Law, whom officers met during their initial investigation, had allegedly left the boy in the vehicle “while she ran errands and ate at a nearby restaurant,” police said Tuesday. The boy was stuck in the vehicle for “almost two hours.”
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Elizalde tells PEOPLE that Law was a babysitter hired by the boy’s family. He says she is not related to them and has no prior criminal history, as far as he knows.
He was unable to comment on the statement she made to police.
Efforts to reach Law directly for comment have been unsuccessful. It was unclear if she has retained an attorney and it appears she has not yet entered a plea.