Corpus Christi Baby Left in Car While Parents Saw Movie
A Corpus Christi couple who left their 8-month-old girl in a car while they watched a movie with another child may soon face charges, and police are responding to allegations that they let the couple off with a warning for the sake of cultural sensitivity.
According to KIII-TV, a Facebook video making the rounds last weekend showed police discovering the baby girl in a van outside of a Starplex cinema in Corpus. Police told KIII the girl was left in the vehicle for 46 minutes before her 29-year-old father and 17-year-old mother exited the theater with a four-year-old child.
The couple reportedly told police that leaving a child alone in a car is normal behavior in Saudi Arabia. Police did not make an arrest, which left some wondering if their actions were motivated by political correctness.
In an interview Monday, Lt. Chris Hooper with the Corpus Christi Police Department told KIII that officers determined that the child was not in any immediate danger, but that the parents were not let off the hook for their actions.
"We didn't do a good job on your news story the other night," Hooper told KIII. "We didn't do a good job of explaining that. We should not have released the offenders alibi to y'all. We shouldn't have done it, but we did."
Hooper said Child Protective Services are investigating, and that the parents could face charges of child abandonment and endangerment. That could mean up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Hooper told KIII he teaches multiculturalism at the Corpus police academy, but that foreign customs and values do not afford anyone the right to break the laws of the United States. He said an arrest in the case is likely.