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Mom arrested after kids found in hot car

WARREN — A mother accused of leaving two infant children inside a hot, running vehicle in the parking lot of Family Dollar, 1139 W. Market St., was arrested at 4:57 p.m. Tuesday on charges of child endangering.

Danika M. Carter, 22, 1394 Fifth St., Apt. 8, pleaded not guilty to two counts of child endangering during an arraignment Wednesday before municipal Judge Terry Ivanchak, according to a court report. She was assigned a $2,500 bond and is to attend a court hearing July 7 before Judge Thomas Gysegem.

Police found the two children, a 3-month-old and a 1-year-old, both covered with sweat, according to a police report. The youngest child’s eyes were rolled back with very little color in them. Temperatures inside the vehicle were estimated to be 120 degrees.

Heat poured out of the car when an officer opened the door to adjust the air conditioning, which appeared not to be working, according to the report.

When Carter approached the vehicle, she was placed under arrest. She said she understood it was hot in the car, but did not believe her children were in jeopardy, according to the report.

A review of the videotape at the store indicated the children were left in the vehicle for at least 10 minutes.

While waiting for an ambulance to check on the children, Carter complained it was too hot in the air-conditioned cruiser, according to the report. She became angry because she wanted her mother to be called to pick up her car, money and phone.

The children were taken to St. Joseph Warren Hospital, where one child was diagnosed with heat exhaustion and a mild case of asthma. The other child was given fluids.

They were turned over to a relative with a safety plan assigned by representatives of Trumbull County Children Services.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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