CUDAHY (CBSLA.com) — An 18-year-old mother was arrested Saturday for allegedly leaving her one-year-old son and infant daughter locked inside a car despite the sweltering heat, authorities reported.
Sheriff's deputies received a call that children were locked inside a car at approximately 12:30 p.m. in a parking lot in the 7900 block of Atlantic Avenue, according to Lt. Daniel Lopez.
"Deputies located the vehicle and saw a toddler and infant in child protective car seats inside a locked car with no adults present," Lopez said.
Deputy Pete Mejia told CBS2/KCAL9 News that he managed to gain access into the car through a partially open window.
"The window was partially cracked. I stuck my arm in, unlocked the car and we pulled the children out," Mejia said.
The deputy found the children "hot and moist to the touch." Authorities said they suspect that the children had been inside the car for up to 25 minutes -- all while the outside temperature was an estimated 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Mejia said he believed the temperature inside the car was approximately 115 degrees.
KCAL9 reporter Art Barron asked Mejia whether he was shocked to find children so young locked inside, to which Mejia responded, "It's hard to not take it personal, but it is when children are involved and they are in harm's way -- of course."
Deputies placed the babies in an air-conditioned patrol car until paramedics arrived.
Arely Amaya arrived shortly after and identified herself as the children's mother, Lopez said. She had allegedly been shopping at a nearby store.
Amaya was arrested and booked for child endangerment.
The children were taken to St. Francis Hospital for treatment and have since been released. According to East Los Angeles County sheriff's Watch Commander Lt. Saunders, they are doing well.
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