Father Charged for Leaving Toddler In Hot Car For 3 Hours While Inside Restaurant

July 23, 2019 Updated: July 23, 2019

A New Jersey father has been charged for leaving his toddler in a car in 85-degree heat outside a sports bar while he reportedly spent three hours inside with a female companion.

The member of a wedding party in the restaurant smashed the windows of the car and took the 3-year-old boy out when they heard him crying, according to a local report.

The boy’s father Brandon Morgan, 32, from Atlantic City has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, according to a local police statement.

Egg Harbor Township Police Department said that they were called out to Chickie’s and Pete’s restaurant and sports bar to reports of a child left in a vehicle for “an extended period of time.”

Chickie’s and Pete’s sports bar, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

When they arrived at the bar at around 1:30 in the morning on July 20, officers found the boy had already been taken out of the car by bystanders who had smashed the windows.

“The approximately 3-year-old child was left in the vehicle for approximately 3 hours in 85-degree weather with the vehicle not running while his father was inside the restaurant/bar,” according to an Egg Harbor Township Police Department press release.

Paramedics were called to the scene and found the boy to be in good health, according to police. He was turned over to his mother, who had come to collect him.

Brandon Morgan. (Egg Harbor Township Police)

A waitress at the sports bar told The Press of Atlantic City that the boy’s cries were heard by members of a wedding party celebrating at the restaurant when they stepped outside.

The waitress told The Press that someone broke a car window, took the boy out of the car, and took him inside to Morgan, who had been inside with a woman, she said.

Press Release-Endangering the Welfare of a ChildOn Saturday, July 20, 2019 at approximately 1:30 am, the Egg Harbor…

Egg Harbor Township Police Department စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇူလိုင် ၂၂၊ တနင်္လာနေ့

Dr. Thomas Brabson, chairman of local emergency services at AtlantiCare, told The Press that the lack of ventilation and a child’s inability to leave the car increase the danger of leaving them in the heat.

“They’re basically almost entombing them in an oven, because there’s no ventilation in the car when the windows are all up and the doors are locked,” Brabson said.

Children’s bodies can heat up three to five times AAA/Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble previously told New Jersey 101.5. “On a 95-degree day, a car can heat up to over 180 degrees. And it only takes temperatures at 104 degrees for internal organs to start to shut down. So even in a matter of moments we can have a catastrophe on our hands.”

Hot Car Deaths

According to NoHeatStroke.org, 803 children have died in the United States due to Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH) since 1998. All of these deaths were preventable.

Explaining how the heatstroke deaths happen, the organization said: “The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively ‘transparent’ to the sun’s shortwave radiation and are warmed little. However, this shortwave energy does heat objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard, steering wheel, or seat temperatures often are in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees F.”

Every year, an average of 38 children under the age of 15 die from heat stroke after being left in a vehicle, according to Injury Facts.

In 2018, 52 children died after being left in a hot car.

“In more than half of these fatalities, the child was forgotten in the vehicle by a parent or caregiver,” said the Injury Facts.

Follow Simon on Twitter: @SPVeazey
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