Jul 29, 2014

Mother Charged After Leaving 4 Kids Alone in Hot Car at Walmart

Woman "did not seem to care," according to the incident report.

Mother Charged After Leaving 4 Kids Alone in Hot Car at Walmart

Add Gwinnett County to the growing list of metro Atlanta children being left in hot cars by their parents.

Gwinnett Police say an Atlanta mom was charged with four counts of reckless conduct after her four children — ages 1 month to 5 years — were found alone in her vehicle parked at a Norcross-area Walmart on Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

All four children were OK, police said. The doors were unlocked and a window and door were opened by bystanders when police arrived.

According to the police incident report, Arlete Njonjo Makoudjo, 31, of 1211 Brook Court Avenue in Atlanta, was arrested around 8 p.m. Friday, July 11. She said she was inside the store buying a bicycle air pump.

Makoudjo “asked what the big deal was with leaving the children, unattended, inside the vehicle while she shopped,” according to the report. She was released the next day after posting bail, according to Gwinnett County jail records.

Police said two of the children in the car were crying loudly; the infant girl was covered in sweat.

A passerby — John Dunkley of Norcross — called police to report the incident. He told WSB-TVthe mother came out to the car about a half-hour after he called police.

According to the incident report, Makoudjo came out of the store to find her vehicle surrounded by police officers and EMS personnel.

“Arlete did not seem to care that the large crowd was there attending to her children and tried to get in the car,” the incident report stated.

She was asked by officers why she left the children in the car. “Arlete did not seem to care and said she was shopping inside.”

The children were left in the custody of a grandparent.

There have been other reports this summer of kids being left in hot cars in Georgia, the most tragic being the June 18  death of 2-year-old Cooper Harris in Cobb County. The boy died in the car as his father Justin Ross Harris worked all day. Justin Harris has been charged with felony murder.

This week, Courtney Kidd was charged after he left his 3-month-old daughter in his parked car at the Clayton County courthouse. A Good Samaritan reportedly rescued the child. Kidd mistakenly thought babies could not be brought into the courthouse.

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