HANOVER, Md. (WUSA9)-- Just days after a little girl was found alone in a frigid car while her mother went gambling, it has happened again. This time, the abandoned child was a young boy, and a good Samaritan came to his rescue.
"It was absolute shock and disbelief," said Anne Arundel Police Lieutenant T.J.Smith.
At 4:30 yesterday afternoon, a good Samaritan spotted a little boy in the back of a cold, snow-covered car. According to charging documents, he assumed "an adult must be close by." But at 6 o'clock, he returned to the parking lot and noticed the boy again. This time, the child had activated the hazards and was alone in the front seat. The stranger notified police.
"The 6-year-old was able to open the door for police when the police arrived, so that concerned us even more because what if that 6-year-old had opened that door and walked into traffic," said Lieutenant T.J. Smith.
Under arrest is 47-year-old Juan Carlos Calva Diaz the child's grandfather, who'd gone into the mall to look for the child's mother. Through a translator, he said he'd simply lost track of time.
This case comes two days after the arrest of Alicia Brown, who allegedly left her 4-year-old daughter in the car for more than eight hours while she went gambling at a casino.
What's even more shocking is that these two cases of child abandonment happened just steps from each other. The Best Buy parking lot where the 6-year-old boy was discovered last night is right next door to the Maryland Live Casino where the 4 year-old girl was found on New Year's Eve.
The law allows an 8-year-old to be home or in a car alone, though it's not recommended.
"Common sense should trump the law. A 6 year-old and earlier this week, a 4 year-old, they can't fend for themselves. They shouldn't be left in a vehicle alone. They shouldn't be left at home alone," said Lt. Smith.
He added, "I just thought with the amount of media coverage the first one got that parents would be on their best behavior at least for a period of time."
Police say the boy's mother had no idea he'd been left by the grandfather. The children in both cases were physically unharmed.
Written by Andrea McCarren, WUSA9