Sheriff: Infant left in running car while parents go to bar


The Dakota County Attorney's Office will consider filing criminal charges against the parents of a 3-month-old baby who was left in a running car for almost an hour while the couple was at a bar.

The incident was first mentioned in Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows' weekly newsletter.

WCCO reports witnesses found the infant in the car outside the Red Diamond Saloon in Randolph around 12:30 a.m. one night last month.

Sheriff's deputies responded after bar patrons tipped them off.

The parents told authorities that they were only inside for a few minutes, but witnesses say it was more like 45.

Overnight temperatures were in the 20s, according to WCCO.

The parked car was found with the engine running and the heat on, but deputies say it's still a bad idea.

"You never know what's going to happen," Cmdr. Dan Scheuermann told the television station. "Your car could be stolen, it could stop, shut off, lock your keys in the car, can't get help for an hour. Just don't do it."

Bellows says if the car did stop, which is not uncommon in colder temperatures, it wouldn't take long for hypothermia to set in, the Star Tribune reports.

The couple could face child neglect charges. The count attorney's office is reviewing the case.

The infant has been placed in the care of relatives.

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