Toddler left in car in St. Clairsville parking lot
ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio —
A two-year-old boy was left in a car parked outside the St. Clairsville Walmart Tuesday night.
Witnesses called 911 around 7:13 p.m. after seeing the boy in the car. Police and firefighters quickly responded.
Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas said the boy was left in the car for at least 23 minutes, with a window down, in five-degree weather.
The child was removed from the car and is doing okay now.
"Checked out the child. The child, besides needing a diaper change, was very cold, but was safe and is out of harm now,” said Lucas.
The boy was taken into Walmart and his caretaker, Blake Allen Yates, was located and arrested.
Yates told police he ran in to get some cat food, and forgot the boy was in the car.
Sheriff Lucas said that Yates is not related to the child, but was entrusted with his care.
"Why is the child left in the car? That child is in your custody. It's your responsibility. You just can't forget,” he said.
Sheriff Lucas credited the people who noticed the child and quickly called 911 with keeping the situation from ending badly.
"They called, we responded, and we all worked together. We've got a 2-year-old child who is safe now,” he said.
Yates has been charged with child endangerment, a fourth-degree felony. He has been released on bond.
The incident is being handled by Ohio County's Children's Services department, as the family resides in that county.