SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - A 37-year-old South Euclid man was charged with endangering children after telling officers that he "really didn’t see the problem” with leaving his 4-year-old boy and baby in an unlocked car parked in front of a store while he went shopping inside, according to police.
The South Euclid Police Department said an off duty officer working a security detail at Giant Eagle on Mayfield Road was approached by customer around 6 p.m. on Wednesday who said he needed to show the officer something “very important” right away.
As they walked out the front doors, the customer told the officer that he saw two small children alone in a running car, according to the report.
The report said the officer saw a small boy sitting in a child seat behind the front passenger seat, and a baby seat behind the driver’s seat.
When the officer asked the boy how old he was, the boy held up four fingers, according to police.
The report said the officer called for an on-duty officer to respond to the scene.
South Euclid police arrived on scene at 6:14 p.m., but the driver of the car with the children inside had yet to return, according to the report.
Police said the off-duty officer was about to go into the store and have the owner paged when a man pushing a shopping cart full of groceries came up to the car.
According to police, the man said the car was his, and claimed he was only in the store for 10 minutes.
Police said he then told the officers that “he really didn’t see the problem with leaving his kids in an unlocked vehicle while shopping in the store.”