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Police: Mother left toddler in hot car while shopping

151917 Ashley Caroline Garris
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Garris

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The Daily Reflector

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A mother left her 2-year-old son in a hot car Thursday afternoon for an hour while she shopped at Ulta, according to Greenville police.

Officers responded at 1:49 p.m. to the parking lot of Zoe’s Kitchen and Ulta Beauty at 3120 Evans St. after a report that a child was left in a hot car, according to a news release issued Thursday evening by the Greenville Police Department.

Upon arrival, officers saw several bystanders attempting to gain access to a parked car, the release said. A 2-year-old boy had been left in his car seat in the back of the car.

Officer Elliot Gruhn was able to unlock the car by reaching his hand through a cracked window, and he took the boy into Zoe’s Kitchen to cool him down, the release said. The child was transported to Vidant Medical Center by Greenville-Fire Rescue as a precaution, but he is expected to be OK.

At about 2:17 p.m., after the child had been transported to the hospital, officers located the mother, 21-year-old Ashley Caroline Garris, as she returned to the car.

It was determined Garris left her son in the car for approximately an hour as she shopped in Ulta, the release said. At the time the child was rescued, temperatures in the car ranged from 104 to 116 degrees.

Garris was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abuse and contributing to the delinquency or neglect of a minor.

DSS Child Protective services is now involved in the case, and Garris has been prohibited from having contact with the child.

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