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Infant Saved From Car Where Temps Reached Over 100 Degrees After Instacart Driver Left to Shop in Publix for 45 Minutes: Cops

florida instacart driver leaves infant in vehicle
Source: Tavares Police Department; Mega

Jun. 18 2023, Published 12:04 p.m. ET

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An Instacart driver in Florida was arrested after he went into a grocery store to complete an order and left an infant inside a hot car, according to police.

Around 6 p.m. on June 11, officers responded to the Publix in Tavares in regard to a report of a “juvenile locked inside of a vehicle,” the Tavares Police Department said.

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A Publix employee stated they were flagged down by a customer alerting them to the infant left alone inside of a parked vehicle, according to officials.

Court documents state the infant was in a rear-facing car seat, behind the driver’s seat and the vehicle was not running and the windows were only slightly rolled down.

The Tavares Fire Department arrived shortly after and noted the infant was visibly sweating, appeared clammy and had labored breathing.

First responders were able to force one of the vehicle’s windows down to gain entry since they were partially open, authorities said. The infant was turned over to medics for treatment.

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Child neglect
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The manager of the Publix made an announcement over the loud speaker for the owner of the vehicle to come to customer service. A short time later, a man, later identified as 27-year-old Keita Jones, came running to the counter, officials said.

Police said Jones stated he was the owner of the vehicle and confirmed the baby was in the vehicle.

Jones told police he was not in the store long and he was trying to complete a second order for Instacart. He said it was raining outside and he did not want to get the child wet, so he left the infant in the vehicle with the windows down.

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Officers recorded the temperature of the car seat using a thermal imaging device and noted the temperature was between 100 and 105 degrees, authorities said, claiming the infant was left in the car alone for about 45 minutes.

Jones was arrested and charged with child neglect. He was booked into the Lake County jail.

Officials did not give an update on the condition of the infant or the child’s relationship to Jones.

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