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Boy, 6, Left Unattended in Snow-Covered Van, Columbia Man Charged

Police arrested the 6-year-old boy's grandfather after the child was left for more than 90 minutes in the Arundel Mills parking lot.

Police said Juan Carlos Calva Diaz left his grandson unattended in a parked car. (Credit: AACOPD)
Police said Juan Carlos Calva Diaz left his grandson unattended in a parked car. (Credit: AACOPD)
BY TIM LEMKE

Anne Arundel County police arrested a Columbia man Thursday night on charges that he left his 6-year-old grandson in a snow-covered van for more than 90 minutes in a mall parking lot. 

Police said Juan Carlos Calva Diaz, 47, arrived in the parking lot near the Best Buy store at Arundel Mill at about 4:30 p.m. with his grandson, and the pair were supposed to meet the boy's mother. But according to police, the boy was left inside the car until after 6 p.m., when police found the child unattended in the van with the hazard lights on. 

According to police, a mall customer noticed the boy unattended in the car as they went into the mall and saw him again when they returned more than an hour later. That's when police were contacted. 

After police arrived, the boy was able to unlock the door and he was placed inside a warm cruiser. Police said the van was not heated and was covered in snow. 

Police searched for Diaz and the boy's mother in the mall, even using the intercom system at the Best Buy store. The mother and grandfather eventually returned to the van at about 7:30 p.m.

The boy's mother told police that the boy was supposed to have been left in Diaz's care. 

Child Protective Services and the Criminal Investigation Division Child Abuse Unit came to the scene and released the boy to his mother. He was later taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center as a precaution. He was unharmed, other than being cold and hungry, according to police. 

Diaz was charged with confined unattended child under eight years old and neglect of a minor.

This is the second case of possible child neglect in the Arundel Mills area this week. On Tuesday night, a woman was charged after police said she left her 4-year-old daughter in the car for more than eight hours while she was inside the Maryland Live! casino. 
DeDe January 31, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Not only is it dangerous because of the cold, but don't these people know that these children can be abducted from the cars. It is an opportunity for a child molester to take a child and be long gone before their missed. I can't understand a persons mindset that does that.

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