PHOENIX — A Valley caregiver is facing abuse charges for allegedly leaving a vulnerable adult in a hot vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping center near 44th Street and Thomas Road Saturday.
Officials say Yasmin Abdulle left the victim, who is diagnosed as a non-verbal autistic adult with severe cognitive disorder and a mental capacity of a 4-year-old child, in a van for about 40 minutes.
According to court documents, Abdulle left the victim in a locked vehicle with all windows rolled up with the engine shut off before going into a Burlington Coat Factory.
At the time of the incident, outside temperatures were about 93 degrees and the inside of the van was calculated to be between 128 and 133 degrees. Officials say the vehicle was facing north in the direct sunlight and did not have tinted windows.
At around 12:28 p.m. officials were able to help the victim out of the van by smashing in the windows after a concerned citizen called the police. Officers say the victim was in the backseat of the vehicle with her seatbelt on and was unable to follow directions on how to open the doors herself.
The victim was "soaking wet with sweat," and also was shaking and warm to the touch.
She was transported to a nearby hospital with severe dehydration.
After Abdulle did not return to the vehicle for a while, officers went inside the store to find her.
Abdulle told officers she was a caregiver and had been working for group homes for three to five years on and off. She also stated she left the victim in the van because she did not want to get out of the vehicle to go inside to shop and that the weather was "nice outside and it was not 100 degrees," according to court documents.
Abdulle is now facing charges of reckless vulnerable adult abuse for placing the victim in a situation likely to cause death or serious physical injury.