JONESBORO, Ark. – A mother faces a charge of child endangerment after she left her 4 month old baby in the car while she ate pizza.
Brittany Reeder, 25, of Jonesboro, was eating at Larry’s Pizza on Highland Drive in Jonesboro on Wednesday, according to the Jonesboro Police Department report made by Officer Keith Baggett. Reeder had taken her two older children inside of the restaurant but, for some unknown reason, felt it was a good idea to leave her 4 month old baby in the car, with the windows rolled up, and the motor turned off.
Officer Baggett arrived at the establishment at 3:12 p.m., in the middle of the sweltering summer heat. He arrived to speak with Reeder, who said the baby was asleep in her back seat safety seat of her white 2015 Kia Sorento when she arrived to eat. According to the report, Reeder said she took her two older children in and “decided to leave the infant in the car because she was asleep.”
“Reeder admitted responsibility and could not give a logical reason why she would leave her child in the vehicle during these conditions,” Baggett wrote in the report.
At the time the officer arrived, the temperature was 96 degrees with a heat index of 108 – and that was the heat outside of the vehicle. While the officer did not take readings of the interior heat, he noted the baby’s skin was “red and warm to the touch,” but the baby did not seem to be experiencing heat-related problems or trouble breathing.
The mother told the officer she had been eating for up to 15 minutes when her aunt asked her about the infant and she decided to go check on the baby. This is when she perceived the baby, “not acting right,” before calling 911. The report noted the mother was distraught.
Emergency responders were paged and the baby was transported to St. Bernards Medical Center by Emerson Ambulance Service. Medics informed the officer that the baby was in good condition and responsive, however, the registered nurse at the hospital treating the child informed the officer that, 45 minutes after the initial call, the baby’s temperature was still 99.9 degrees.
Reeder is charged with second degree endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor. She was given a court date of Aug. 3 at 1 p.m. and released.
The report was forwarded to the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Hotline for possible investigation.