A woman is accused of leaving her 2-year-old grandson in a van for 24 minutes with only one window open while she went into a Ross Department Store to allegedly retrieve other family members.
Leia Lanette Payne, 54, was arrested and charged with abandoning and endangering a child with intent to return.
According to an arrest affidavit, police responded to a report of a child sweating and crying out for help while strapped into a car seat in the van.
Police said they were dispatched to the 1019 block of West University Avenue in front of the Ross Department store. There, the officer found the child with red discoloration, "extremely sweaty" and in "extreme distress." Police noted that only the front passenger window was rolled down in the vehicle.
According to the affidavit, the doors were unlocked in the vehicle and an officer was able to free the child from his car seat.
Police said the toddler was extremely "hot to the touch and all [of his] clothing was drenched in sweat."
When officers attempted to give the child some cold water to drink, the child refused, police said. Instead, an officer used the cool water to apply to the child's head and other extremities to help cool him down.
The child was transported by EMS to the hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion, the affidavit said.
Police said Payne walked back toward the van to claim she owned the vehicle, and that her grandchild was inside.
Payne claimed to police that she had only gone inside the store for a few minutes to retrieve other family members.
However, when police looked at surveillance footage from the store, they found Payne had actually been in the store for closer to 25 minutes.
The affidavit said police measured the temperature of the car and found the vehicle's internal temperature registered at 130 degrees. A neighboring car with all windows closed had an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Payne was booked into the Williamson County jail, police said.
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