Surprise, AZ — Surprise police have arrested a mother for allegedly leaving her child locked in a hot car while she was shopping.
Mikayla Lynn Peer, 20, has been booked into Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail on charges of child neglect and endangerment. Shortly after 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, Surprise police responded to a report of a small child left unattended inside a locked vehicle.
Tony Smith was walking through the parking lot of the WalMart when he spotted the child and called police. Surprise police arrived on scene within minutes of receiving the call and saw the 2-year-old child inside the locked car. Police say the child was sweating profusely.
Officers broke one of the vehicle’s windows and removed the child, who was treated by paramedics from the Surprise Fire-Medical Department.
Approximately five minutes after the child had been rescued, readings of the temperature inside the vehicle were taken and indicated an average temperature of 108 degrees.
Surprise police later learned that the child had been inside the vehicle for at least eight minutes before police arrived on scene.
The little girl was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation, but did not appear to have sustained any life-threatening injuries.
Officers were not immediately able to locate the child’s mother, who was later found to be inside the store shopping, according to police.
Investigators later determined that a period of at least 20 minutes had passed from the time the child was left inside the locked car until the child’s mother returned to the parking lot.
“I’m so glad I was there when I was,” Smith said Sunday afternoon. “When I left, that’s all I could think about yesterday. … And then this morning, it was all I could think about. … I still picture her face, all sweaty and everything. …”
The positive outcome of this incident can largely be attributed to the actions of the concerned community member who saw the child and immediately called police. The Surprise Police Department encourages all members of the public to watch for children left unattended inside of a vehicle and to report these incidents to police.