PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) - A Pike County mother was charged Tuesday after Pikeville police found her 3-year-old son in an unattended vehicle that had an inside temperature of 114 degrees, the Appalachian News Express reported.
Officers were dispatched to the parking lot of Economy Drug, where they were informed a small child was sitting in a parked car unattended, according to court records. Officers discovered the boy sitting in the back seat of the car with only the front seat windows open, court records show.
The vehicle was not running and no air conditioning was on when police arrived, leaving the inside temperature of the car at 114 degrees in the 90-degree outside temperature, an arrest citation said.
“That car, in just a matter of minutes, was 114 degrees inside. This child was buckled in a car seat, he can’t move, he can’t escape,” Pikeville Police Chief Chris Edmonds told the newspaper. “It doesn’t take long to get distressed at 114 degrees. There’s not enough oxygen in the air to breath. Even though these windows were down ... there’s no breeze getting in there like we get in the outside elements.”
Tina M. Hamilton, 38, of Abner For Road in Belcher told officers upon leaving the pharmacy she was getting her Gabapentin filled while her child was secured in the car.
She was arrested on a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment, court records show. After she entered a plea of not guilty to her charge at arraignment, Pike District Court Judge Darrel Mullins ordered her lodged at the Pike County Detention Center on a 10 percent payment of a $5,000 bond, court records show.
The outside temperature was 90 degrees at the time officers made contact with Hamilton, but Edmonds said even when the temperatures are not as high, the dangers are still present.
The child was taken to Pikeville Medical Center for treatment. He was placed in custody of child protective services.