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Cops: Dad left tot in hot car while he shopped on Long Island

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A Maryland man was arrested Thursday afternoon after authorities say he left his 2-year-old daughter alone in a sweltering, locked car while he went shopping at a Long Island department store.

Suffolk County Police say 30-year-old Melvin Marroquin has been charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. He was being held in police custody Thursday and is scheduled to face a judge Friday at First District Court in Central Islip for arraignment. It was not immediately clear if he has hired an attorney.

According to police, a passerby at the Big H Shopping Center on New York Avenue in Huntington heard a child crying inside a pickup truck that was parked at the shopping center. Marroquin’s 2-year-old daughter was locked inside the vehicle, police said. The car was not running and had all the windows closed, according to a news release.

The good Samaritan called 911 and responding police officers broke a car window and removed the young girl from the vehicle. At that point, she was lethargic and not speaking, cops said. She was taken to Huntington Hospital and was later released to her mother.

Authorities say the girl’s father was shopping at a nearby Marshall’s department store. He showed up at the car about 10 minutes after officers arrived. Police estimate the temperature inside the car was about 120 degrees.

Thursday’s incident comes just a week after a nanny was arrested in Nassau County for allegedly leaving a 3-year-old girl locked in a hot car while she went to shoplift at a Target department store. The nanny, Christine Nunes, 37, of Lynbrook, has pleaded not guilty in that case. Police have said the windows were closed and the vehicle was off while the girl was locked inside the car for more than 35 minutes. Officers found that child “barely responsible” and covered in sweat, according to court papers.

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