Sheriff: Don't Leave Kids Alone In The Car 12-01-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Sheriff: Don't Leave Kids Alone In The Car 12-01-2010

Saginaw County is cracking down on people who leave children alone inside their vehicles for any period of time.
Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel held a news conference on Wednesday to highlight three recent violations.
Federspiel said the incidents took place at shopping venues in Kochville Township. In one incident, a Saginaw County sheriff's deputy arrived at Sally's Beauty Supply to find a 10-year-old boy and infant left unattended in a running vehicle.
After speaking with the boy, the deputy found out that the boy was left in charge to watch his infant brother, while his mother, a 37-year-old Saginaw County resident, went inside the store to go shopping. This particular incident was then reported to the Michigan Department of Human Services.
In another incident, Federspiel said a 33-year-old man left his 10-year-old stepdaughter in his running vehicle to watch his 1-year-old son. The incident occurred at Walmart, and was reported by an unidentified 911 caller.
A Saginaw County Sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene and made contact with the father. The father advised that the 1-year-old was sick, so he left his stepdaughter in charge while he took two of his other children inside the store for an extended period of time. Federspile said the incident was also reported to the Michigan Department of Human Services.
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Federspiel said the last incident that was reported took place at Toys R Us, in which another unidentified 911 caller reported that two young children were left unattended in a running vehicle for an extended period of time.
The caller said the driver then got back into the vehicle and drove to McDonald's. It was there that a sheriff's deputy made contact with the driver, a 31-year-old Saginaw County resident. Federspiel said those children were ages 3 and 6.
The prosecutor’s office has filed criminal charges of child abuse, leaving a child unattended in a vehicle, against all three residents.
Below is a summary of the Michigan Penal Code regarding children being left unattended in a vehicle:
The Michigan Penal Code Section 750.135a states that a person who is responsible for the care or welfare of a child, under the age of six, cannot leave that child unattended in a vehicle for a period of time that poses an unreasonable risk of harm or injury to the child.
The law went into effect on April 1, 2009, and those that violate the law are charged with a misdemeanor and are liable to face up to 93 days in jail and/or up to $500.00 in fines.
If a child is harmed while left unattended in a vehicle, then the person who violated the law is guilty of a felony and can spend up to a year in jail and pay up to $1,000.
If the violation results in the death of a child, the person will face a felony charge and 10 years in prison and pay up to a $10,000 fine.

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