Belle Glade woman accused of leaving toddler in hot car

WEST PALM BEACH — A Belle Glade woman has been charged with child neglect after reportedly leaving a toddler locked in a hot car for nearly 25 minutes while she was shopping in a mall.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report, on Monday, July 13, at 4:14 p.m., deputies responded to a 911 call about a toddler locked by herself in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Mall at Wellington Green. Responding deputies found a 2-year-old girl locked, by herself, in a white four-door Nissan. The car’s engine was not running. The child was in a car seat in the middle of the back seat. “The toddler was crying, sweating and appeared to be in distress,” states the PBSO report. “There was no sign of a caregiver.”

Fearing for the child’s safety, a deputy broke the driver’s side window and removed the child from the vehicle. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue treated the girl on the scene.

The investigation determined the 2-year-old was left in the vehicle for nearly 25 minutes while the mother was shopping inside Macy’s Department Store, the report continues.

Thamyres Ponce, 32, of Northwest 27th Street, Belle Glade, was arrested and charged with child neglect. She was released on a bond of $1,000.

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