A Fairburn woman was charged with reckless conduct July 9 after leaving her 5-year-old son in a car at the Publix grocery store in Tyrone. The child was found by a patron and was hot but unharmed.
Police Chief Brandon Perkins said 28-year-old Semeatress Robinson was charged with reckless conduct in the incident.
Perkins said officers at approximately 3:24 p.m. were dispatched to the Southampton Village Shopping Center on Ga. Highway 74 where a witness observed a young child unattended and sleeping in a white Cadillac. The outside temperature at the time of the incident was approximately 89 degrees, said Perkins.
“The vehicle was not running, but all of the windows were rolled down. EMS arrived on scene first and the 5-year-old child was found to be unharmed, but complained of being hot,” Perkins said.
Perkins said a review of Publix’s security video revealed that Robinson had been inside the store shopping for approximately 20 minutes before the child was first observed in the car. It took another 10 minutes for the mother to come forward after being paged over the store’s loud speaker several times, Perkins said.
Perkins said Robinson later told police the child was sleeping when she arrived at the store and, because she only needed a few items, she decided to allow him to sleep while she went inside.
“She was found to have a cart full of groceries when police made initial contact with her,” Perkins noted.
Perkins referenced both the temperature outside and the danger of leaving a child unattended in a public area.
“Besides the risks associated with high temperatures, regardless of the windows being down, there are many other dangers associated with leaving a small child unattended in a car,” Perkins said.
“For instance, the child could have easily been abducted or he could have been harmed attempting to locate his mother after waking up alone.”
Robinson was transported to the Fayette County Jail.
The Tyrone Police Dept. urged parents to put their children first in all that they do and urged all adults to take a moment to observe the vehicles around them when they park – they might just save a life.