GLENDALE, AZ — A man has been arrested after leaving his toddler in his car with no A/C at a Glendale drive-in movie theater, according to police.
Glendale police report that on Saturday night just before midnight they arrested Brian Flores, 22, at the Glendale drive-in near 55th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.
Witnesses reported to management that they saw a three-year-old girl in a locked car with the windows rolled up and the car not running. An announcement was made at the drive-in regarding the child, but no one responded.
When police arrived, they reportedly found the girl in her car seat, with no parent around. Police say the temperature outside was 100 degrees at the time. Witnesses allegedly told police that the child was left in the car for at least 15 minutes.
The child was awake and not in distress, according to police.
When Flores returned, he allegedly told police that he left his daughter in the car because his hands were going to be full of snacks from the concession stand.
He also reportedly admitted seeing news reports about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars, and said he should not have left her in the car.
"The car was pretty cold, it was eleven at night, and I parked in front of the snacks," Flores said, estimating the building at roughly 35 feet away. "It's just right in front of it."
Flores told ABC15 prior to arriving at the Drive-In he had the A/C running. "I left the A/C on, before I left I know the car was off, windows rolled up," he said. "I would think the air wouldn't get out so that's what crossed my mind, but I guess I made a mistake."
Flores disputes the amount of time his daughter was left in the car, estimating he was only gone for five-to-seven minutes.
He told ABC15 he didn't take his daughter inside with him as he was afraid his daughter might walk-off, given how dark it was.
In retrospect, Flores said he would make different decisions if faced with the same situation. "I learned my lesson," he said.
The girl's mother took custody of the girl. Flores was arrested for child abuse.
If you suspect a child is being abused, the Arizona Department of Child Services has resources available to report the issue to a social worker. You can call the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445), and will be asked for information about the child, as well as the nature of your concerns. You can also get more information from DCS about reporting abuse or neglect online.