UNNAMED DAD has been coddled by the police and not charged, though the babies were screaming and in obvious distress by the time parametics rescued them. Even the owner of the gun store where Daddy was shopping for almost an hour is totally disgusted, especially given Daddy's indifference to the children's welfare.
Children Left in Hot Van as Father Shopped for Guns
Updated: Sunday, 25 Mar 2012, 11:07 AM CDT
Published : Sunday, 25 Mar 2012, 11:07 AM CDT
KATY, Texas - A man leaves a baby and toddler in a hot van while he spends an hour shopping for guns at a store in Katy.
It happened on a day when the Houston area saw record-breaking heat. Thankfully, both children are going to be fine, but the owner of Tactical Firearms is fuming over what happened next, and he has it all on camera.
"Look, they are driving off. 'Have a nice day. Go commit another felony somewhere else,'" said Jeremy Alcede, the store's owner.
The driver, believed to be the father of the two children, has not been arrested or charged.
"I said, 'Are you kidding me? You left your kids in the car.' And he said, 'Awww.' That was it. Not, 'Oh my God, are my kids okay?' He just goes, 'Awww," said Alcede.
The state of the art surveillance system at Tactical Firearms captured the man shopping for guns for almost an hour while his five-month-old baby and 18-month-old child are in the back of a blue van.
The father parked the van at 11:53 a.m. and went inside the store.
The temperature was in the mid 70s under clear skies at 12 p.m. Saturday. Alcede says the front window was slightly cracked.
28 minutes pass when the customer parked next to the van hears the babies screaming and calls 911.
"These babies were sweating. You could see it," said Alcede.
"We actually came in the store looking for a parent and could not identify one. No one stepped up and said, 'Yeah, that's my van or those are my children,'" said Nicholas Arrighi, an employee of Tactical Firearms.
The man is still inside shopping as paramedics show up and get the kids out. The Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office responded and said the children did not appear to be dehydrated.
"I am a father first and business owner second, and I'll be damned if anybody wastes their money buying my stuff when their kids are being pushed off as second class citizens," said Alcede.
Parked cars get dangerously hot even on cool days. Animation from San Francisco State University shows when the termperature is 80 degrees outside, it's 114 degrees inside a car after just 30 minutes. Texas law says parents cannot leave a child under age 7 alone in a car for more than five minutes.
"It's a slam dunk case. You just told me the law, I just showed you the footage. Everybody was aware, and they drove off," said Alcede.
Precinct 5 deputy constables say the Harris County District Attorney's Office declined to accept charges, referring the case to Child Protective Services.
"The (deputy) constable himself, the conversation we had, he wanted them to go to jail, but he said my hands are tied," said Alcede.
The children's mother showed up almost two hours later. The family was free to go. Watching the whole ordeal on video brings Alcede to tears. He hopes to never see the man in his store again, but he won't soon forget the look on two children's faces.
FOX 26 News was unable to reach the district attorney's office for comment. CPS is trying to determine whether anyone contacted them about the case.