HANOVER, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A Maryland man is accused of leaving his young grandson alone in a van for several hours Tuesday night as snow and frigid temperatures moved into the region.
Anne Arundel County police say they were alerted to a young boy left unattended in a Chrysler Town and Country van parked in the Best Buy parking lot on Arundel Mills Circle in Hanover just after 6 p.m. A person who parked next to the van told police they saw the boy alone inside the van when they arrived at about 4:30 p.m., and again when they returned to their vehicle more than an hour-and-a-half later.
Police were able to get the 6-year-old out of the van, which authorities say was covered with snow and cold inside. The boy was placed in a warm police cruiser while authorities unsuccessfully tried to locate his relatives.
Police say the boy’s grandfather and mother arrived back at the van at about 7:30 p.m. The woman told police the man and his grandson were there to pick her up from the store and that the boy was supposed to accompany his grandfather into the store.
Police say 47-year-old Juan Carlos Calva Diaz, of Columbia, was arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of child neglect.
The child was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center for precautionary reasons and found to be in good health with no signs of child abuse. He was released to his mother.
About 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, county police were called to a parking garage at Maryland Live! Casino at the mall after a security officer saw a 4-year-old girl alone and crying in a car. Officers said the vehicle had arrived about 10 a.m.
Authorities said the girl was taken to a local hospital. Police said the child was hungry and cold, but showed no signs of physical abuse.
Officers said a woman arrived at the car and said she was the child’s mother.
Alicia Denice Brown, 24, of Baltimore was charged with second-degree child abuse, confined unattended child under 8 years old, and neglect of a minor.
The girl was released to a relative.