Sarah Philbrick, Minnesota woman, left children in freezing car to go drinking, report says

Sarah Philbrick
CBS Minnesota
Sarah Philbrick
CBS Minnesota

(CBS) --  A Minnesota woman was arrested after allegedly leaving two children, ages 2 and 3, inside a car during freezing temperatures Sunday night while she drank inside a car, CBS Minnesota reports.

Authorities said 55-year-old Sarah Philbrick, the children's aunt, left the children unattended in the parking lot for more than an hour before an employee walked by and heard one of them cough from the back seat.

Lauren Dickover told CBS Minnesota that she walked by a car with a broken window and heard children crying inside. She told the bar manager, who broke more of the window and crawled into the car and carried the children out.

"We asked, you know, if there was anybody who owned a station wagon and nobody was here to claim it," Dickover said.

Hopkins Police said Philbrick left the bar in a taxi, only to return a short time later when she told the cab driver she didn't know where to go, according to a criminal complaint. She was reportedly red in the face and stumbled as she walked.

It was about 25 degrees outside when the children were rescued, who weren't wearing any jackets, hats or gloves, CBS Minnesota reports.

"Their hands were beat red and their arms were pink just from being so cold," Dickover said. "The first thing I thought of was we need to give them food because it's terribly cold outside."

Philbrick was arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect. Police said when the children's parents found out about the incident they were very angry.

Police said that they take these kinds of incidents very seriously, especially since it involves young children.

"A citizen stepped up and averted a tragedy, and that's a huge point for us here at the police department," said Sgt. Michael Glassberg. "The ending here could've been very different than it was."