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Vallejo Police Arrest Mother Who Left Baby in Hot Car While Getting Nails Done

VALLEJO (CBS SF) -- Police in Vallejo on Wednesday confirmed the Tuesday arrest of a 19-year-old mother who left her three-month-old baby alone in a hot car while getting a manicure, according to authorities.

Vallejo police said on Tuesday at approximately 4:21 p.m., officers responded to the report of an infant left unattended in a hot vehicle in the 100 block of Plaza Drive.

Arriving officers found the three-month-old sitting in a car-seat in the backseat of a vehicle with all four of the windows rolled down. At the time, the temperatures in Vallejo was over 80 degrees, with the temperature in the car measuring slightly higher.

Police said a group of good Samaritans had surrounded the vehicle, stepping in to help the infant and telling the officers about what they witnessed.

Police checked area businesses in the shopping plaza where the vehicle was parked and quickly identified 19-year-old Vallejo resident Selena Cook as the mother of the infant. She was found at a nail salon in the shopping plaza and told officers she was getting her nails done.

Police said the baby was left unattended in the vehicle for at least 30-45 minutes. Cook was arrested on charges of child endangerment. The infant was taken to an area hospital for medical evaluation before being turned over to Child Protective Services.

"One of the most fundamental responsibilities we have as parents is to protect and care for our children above our own needs," said Vallejo Police Chief Shawny K. Williams in the release. "As a parent, it was extremely disheartening to know that a three-month-old was left in a hot car unattended and defenseless."

Williams went on to thank the good Samaritans who intervened and alerted police about the incident.

"As a community, we must continually rally around protecting our children," Chief Williams added.

Vallejo police noted that leaving a baby unattended in a vehicle is illegal, puts a child in great danger of harm or death and can lead to criminal charges, as it did in this incident. State law prohibits "a parent, legal guardian or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger" to be left unattended in a vehicle without active supervision of a person at least 12 years of age or older.

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