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Young children rescued from hot car while mother donated plasma, Cleveland police say (video)

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 7:33 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - New video shows two children under 3 years old crying as they were rescued from a hot car by police officers.

Apparently desperate for extra cash, their mother left them alone for more than three hours at the end of August on a hot day, according to Cleveland police.

Officers said the mother was inside a plasma donation center when someone discovered her children.

An off-duty RTA police officer who was working security at the center called 911.

“A parent left her kids unoccupied in a hot car,” he said on the 911 recording.

It was an Ubereats driver who told police he stopped to help the two girls in the back of the blue Ford Escape.

“I drove by and the little girl was hanging out the window screaming for her mom,” he said.

A nurse unhooked the mother from a donation machine and brought her out of the center around 11:15 a.m.

“She’s been checked in with us since 7:30 a.m.,” the nurse told officers.

That means the kids were out there alone for more than three hours.

According to 19 News meteorologists, it was around 80 degrees on that day.

Police tried to explain to the mother on the scene how dangerous what she did was.

“That car heats up really fast and children at a young age easily raise their temperature level,” one officer said.

Another officer said, “You can’t just leave the kids in the car unattended.”

It’s incredible the two girls in this case survived. The police report says they were taken to the hospital and released.

According to The Department of Transportation, 21 children have died in a hot car so far this year.

One of them was in western Ohio.

A non-profit that tracks pediatric heatstroke deaths nationwide says the majority of hot car deaths happen because someone forgets a child.

Only 19.6% are knowingly left in the hot car like what apparently happened in this case.

The signs outside the plasma center on W. 25th Street advertise the opportunity to make extra cash off a donation.

The mother’s name is redacted in the police report, so we were unable to reach her.

However, she was apparently a new donor, according to the nurse.

Her decision resulted in a child endangerment charge that could lead to jail time, and according to the police report, her kids were temporarily taken from her custody.

Officers say they also found marijuana in the mother’s purse when they searched her.

It is unclear whether she was allowed to have the drug, or if she will face additional drug charges.

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