Police find 3 kids in idling car as parents shop

CPS called as parents avoid arrest

INDIANAPOLIS - Child Protective Services was called to investigate a couple after their three children were found in an idling car as they shopped for groceries.

A police officer, who was working security at Chapel Hill shopping mall in the 7400 block of West 10th Street, answered a call to check on the couple's car when other shoppers spotted the kids on Monday.

The officer called CPS when he arrived to find twin two-year-old girls in the couple's red van.

The engine was running and the driver's window was down directly in front of the Marsh grocery store.

The officer turned toward his patrol car to grab a notepad when the 27-year-old mother emerged from the store.

The officer wrote in his report that a third child, an 8-year-old boy, then woke up and became visible inside the same van.

The mother was offering no apologies, and instead unleashed a verbal barrage aimed at the officer.

She said she just moved from South Carolina and insisted it was legal in that state to leave kids alone in an idling car.  She also told the officer that the arrangement was necessary because her husband was away in the military.

The officer said both statements turned out to be lies, and the husband then emerged from the same store.

A police supervisor was called when the argument continued, and he then decided the couple would not be arrested.

Both officers explained the dangers of leaving such young children unattended, and the couple was told they could be arrested if it happens again.

The officers turned their investigation over to CPS without filing charges. Caseworkers will decide whether the children were left in a dangerous enough condition to warrant further action.

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