(WEST MELBOURNE, Fla.) — A mother of a 2-year-old and an 8-month old has been arrested after leaving them alone in an unlocked car with the engine running while she went into a bar, according to police.
An officer in West Melbourne, Florida — located approximately 75 miles southeast of Orlando — was conducting a routine business patrol on Sunday when he noticed a black SUV parked behind Penny Annie’s bar on Minton Road in West Melbourne with the engine running.
However, when the officer took a closer look, he discovered a 2-year-old and an 8-month old baby asleep in the backseat of the idling vehicle.
“The doors to the vehicle were unlocked and the vehicle was running,” the West Melbourne Police Department said in a statement detailing the incident this week. “The registered owner, 33-year-old Jamie Leigh Gunn of West Melbourne was located inside the bar visiting with a friend.”
An investigation revealed that Gunn had been inside the establishment for “at least 20 minutes” while additionally having “no regard for her children who were left unattended.”
“When Gunn learned law enforcement was outside with her vehicle, she was more concerned about going to jail, than the welfare of her children,” the West Melbourne Police Department said.
Gunn was immediately placed under arrest and charged with child neglect and was taken to the Brevard County Jail with a $15,000 bond.
The children were subsequently turned over to a family member and the Department of Children and Families was notified to conduct a follow-up investigation, authorities said.
Gunn has a criminal history, according to police, consisting of contempt of court, forgery, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while her license has been suspended.
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