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Police: Father Left Toddler In Freezing Car for Five Hours

January 12, 2015  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips

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Police found a toddler left in a freezing car for five hours after being notified by a convenience store clerk, who said the child’s dad said he couldn’t locate the car and child.

A clerk working inside the gas station in this eastern Washington city said a man, Charles Fife, came up to the cash register and said he needed help finding his car and the two-year-old child inside.

Fife spent about 30 minutes inside gas station. Surveillance video shows Fife spending time by the cash register and pacing around the store by the chairs and tables.

When the clerk confronted Fife, her manager said Fife replied, “I just don’t want to talk to the cops, my son is tough. He can handle it.”

The clerk said Fife kept walking in and out of the store. She eventually contacted police on her own.

“It angered her very much, it was the maddest she’s been at somebody in a long time,” said Erick Athos, the manager of the gas station.

That clerk later told her manager she could not believe the man did not want to call 911.

Thanks to the clerk calling police, officers found the toddler inside a car parked in a neighborhood near Comstock Park, about a mile away from the gas station.

Spokane Police got to the boy after 9:30 p.m PT. and estimate he was in the car for five hours. The temperature was around freezing that day.

“The conditions were deplorable,” Spokane Police Officer Teresa Fuller. “The child was in nothing by a T-shirt and pants.”

Officers said the child may have passed out and could have developed frostbite in the time he was left alone.

“His feet were very cold,” Officer Fuller explained. “He was saying, ‘ow’ when the nurses were tending to him and pointing to his feet.”

The charge of abandoning a child would be the latest felony for Fife, who already has 12 on his record.

From USA Today

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