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Flushing Couple Charged for Leaving Toddler in Sweltering Hot Car to Go Shopping

Flushing couple Jingcai Zhou and Lu Lu allegedly left their toddler locked in a car for around an hour (Photo: Nassau County Police)

Aug. 19, 2021 By Michael Dorgan 

A Flushing couple who allegedly left their one-year-old child locked in a sweltering hot car for an hour while they went high-end shopping have been charged with reckless endangerment.

Jingcai Zhou, 34, and Lu Lu, 28, left the toddler alone in the back seat of their Mercedes Benz at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the luxury Americana Mall in Manhasset, located at 2046 Northern Blvd. in Nassau County.

Officers had to smash open a car window to rescue the child, who they found crying, red in color and drenched in sweat, police said.

The couple, from Jewel Avenue, were arrested at the scene and also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Nassau County Police Department.

Police said the couple parked their Mercedes in the mall’s outdoor parking lot and left their son asleep in the back seat of the car in a child seat. They left him in the car and entered the mall.

Soon after, a passer-by noticed the infant crying and sweating alone in the car. She tried to open the car door but failed so she called the cops.

Another passer-by tried to use lockpick tools to gain access to the car but was unsuccessful.

Responding officers then arrived on the scene and found the child in a state of distress. The engine of the car was not running and there was no air conditioning. One window was left open with a gap of around an inch, according to police.

Police shattered the driver’s side window and removed the child from the vehicle. The toddler had been left alone in the car for around an hour, police said.

Officers brought the child into the mall to cool him down and he was then transported to a local hospital for evaluation. He did not suffer any serious injuries, police said.

The couple told police they had checked on the child every 25 minutes, officials said.

A judge has since issued an order of protection, which requires the couple to take parenting classes and not put their child in further danger, CBS reported.

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