Father charged after toddler left in vehicle


HALIFAX – A Halifax-area father has been charged after a toddler was found alone locked in the back seat of a vehicle with the windows up, in distress.

“The child was very upset,” Halifax police Const. Dianne Penfound said Tuesday. “He was crying, he was sweating and obviously very scared.”

Police say they were called to a hospital parkade on University Avenue in Halifax around 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 18.

They found a boy buckled in a car seat in the back seat, with the windows closed. Accuweather.com says Halifax had a high of 25 degrees that day.

Officers could not find any adults in the area, and removed the boy.

“As soon as we got on scene we noticed he was in distress and the window was broken,” said Penfound. “He was pretty scared.”

The child was medically cleared by paramedics, she said.

The father returned to the vehicle some time later.

Police say investigators are looking at whether the child was left in the vehicle intentionally or accidentally.

“It was a lot longer than five minutes,” Penfound said.

“We can’t say exactly how long (the father was gone), but it was an extended period of time sufficient to warrant the charges of abandoning a child and criminal negligence.”

The provincial Community Services Department was called in, but Penfound would not speak to who has custody of the boy, or whether another parent is involved.

A 44-year-old man from Bedford is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 17.