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Teen sees boy in car, calls 911
Victor, N.Y. - It was about 80 degrees outside when a teenager spotted a little boy, left alone in a car outside of a restaurant Thursday afternoon. Parked in the back corner of the lot, the black car baked in the sun for more than 2 hours with the 4-year-old inside, said Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero.
Studies show direct sunlight increases temperatures inside vehicles by 40 to 50 degrees in less than an hour. That means the temperatures inside that car could have gotten up to 120-130 degrees that day.
"He could have ended up dying," said the teen, who immediately called 911.
The girl, who did not want to be identified, asked 13WHAM to only use her nickname, Mack--that's what she told the little boy to call her while she kept him talking until police arrived.
"He said thank you and he waved to me," Mack said as she started to weep. "It makes me cry...it's really sad."
Mack said the boy was lethargic--soaked in sweat; he sat in the driver's seat, too scared to get out of the car.
Obviously in need of help, Mack said she took one look at the boy and called 911. Twice she asked if he was okay and both times Mack said the boy replied 'no.'
There was no food or water in the car--just a small handheld game. Mack asked the boy questions while she waited for police, "I said 'where is your mom?' and he pointed at TGI Fridays and said she was working."
A hostess at the restaurant told investigators that 22-year-old Thelma Edwards' shift started at 4 p.m. and the 911 call came in around 6:30 p.m.
People, especially children and the elderly, are at risk for heatstroke when body temperatures climb above 104 degrees and stay there for prolonged periods.
It wasn't until police arrived that Mack said Edwards came out of the restaurant.
"I could hear her making up excuses of why she wasn't with her child," said Mack, "She said that she was getting her paycheck or that someone else was in the vehicle with him but that wasn't true."
According to Sheriff Povero, Edwards told deputies she didn't have anyone to look after the boy while she went to work.
Mack argued that was no excuse and the mother should have brought the boy into the restaurant.
"You never think that you're actually going to see it happen or that someone would actually do that to their child," Mack said.
Arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child, Edwards is at the Ontario County Jail, held on $2,000 bond. She will appear in Victor Town Court at a later date.