Utah Mom Arrested for Allegedly Leaving 4-Year-Old Son in Hot Car as 'Punishment' for 'Acting Out'
The boy's head was "hot to the touch" when an officer checked on him, finding him sweating with puffy eyes
The call to police dispatch reported a young child in a closed car on a steamy Utah night, reportedly left there in “time out” for “punishment purposes,” according to an incident report.
Officers who responded within five minutes found and arrested the child’s mother, 28-year-old Jesica Brown, on charges of child endangerment and child abuse, Draper Police Lt. Pat Evans tells PEOPLE.
Even at the late hour of 9 p.m., the outside temperature still was about 82 degrees when a police officer reached the scene in Draper Park on July 2, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
Inside the vehicle, the officer spotted the child and saw that the vehicle was not turned on and its windows were rolled up.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the officer then located Brown, who said she’d put her 4-year-old son in the car for “acting out.”
“The child was misbehaving, and that was how she chose to punish him, by locking him in the car,” says Evans.
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The boy’s head was “hot to the touch” when an assisting officer checked on him, finding him “sweating” and with “puffy eyes,” according to the affidavit.
It was not stated in the affidavit how long the boy had been in the closed vehicle.
Brown told police she’d been using heroin and meth, and gave permission for officers to check her purse in the vehicle, in which they found a used syringe and other paraphernalia consistent with heroin use, according to the affidavit.
In addition to the child endangerment and child abuse charges, she was charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia, says Evans.
An attorney who might speak on behalf of Brown, who was booked into and released from the Salt Lake County jail, was not immediately identified.