Jose Leal Fort Worth, Texas father arrested after leaving 5 kids in hot car without air-conditioning, found passed out and taken to hospital.
Jose Leal, 29, was arrested after a passerby in southeast Fort Worth reported seeing his five young kids – ranging in age from 1 through 6 – inside a vehicle late Sunday, police said.
Responding officers saw a man in a yard and approached Leal’s parked vehicle as the engine was still running and had its windows rolled up — but without air-conditioning turned on. Several children abandoned inside the ride appeared to be sleeping or passed out, police said.
The five kids were left alone as temps in Fort Worth soared to 100 degrees on Sunday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. They were quickly removed from the sweltering car and transported to air-conditioned police vehicles, authorities said.
Paramedics took Leal’s five children to a nearby hospital, where they were treated for heat exhaustion. Investigators did not indicate how long they believe the kids were inside the car. Leal was later charged with five counts of abandonment/endangerment to a child with bodily injury, police said.
Increasing incidents of children being left in hot cars
The condition of the five children is unclear, but temps inside cars during summer months can rise dramatically in just minutes, paramedics told KWTX.
‘In temperatures like were seeing right now in North Texas, the inside of that vehicle in a matter of minutes can go to 140, 150 degrees, which means that the body temperature of the child inside that car is going to go to 104, 105 degrees,’ Matt Zavadsky of MedStar told KWTX. ‘And the child’s vital organs – the brain, the heart, the kidneys – cannot function at that level of temperature.’
Zavadsky added the incidents of reports of children ‘accidentally’ being left in hot cars, from shopping malls, children climbing into unlocked vehicles and ‘distracted’ parents not noticing, going up dramatically amid the soaring summer months.
Since May 1, MedStar crews have treated 14 patients found in hot cars within their Tarrant County service area. All were six years old or younger.
Following Saturday’s incident, Jose Leal was taken into custody at Tarrant County Jail on $1,000 bond, KDFW reported. The father as of Wednesday was no longer listed in custody.