ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa woman left her child in car that measured 129 degrees, police say

Jun 17, 2024, 12:35 PM | Updated: Jun 18, 2024, 5:27 am

Leaving a child in a hot car lands Mesa woman in jail, police say...

Nichole Yazzie, pictured above, allegedly left her 4-year-old daughter in a hot car. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)

PHOENIX — A Mesa woman has been arrested after leaving a child in a hot car during an excessive heat warning over the weekend, authorities said.

Nichole Yazzie, 32, was arrested after police found the child in a parked car near a store in the area of Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive on Saturday, court documents said.

She allegedly trapped her 4-year-old daughter in the car with the windows and doors locked.

Witnesses who called police said the victim was “distressed” and “excessively sweating,” court documents said.

It was 110 degrees at this time, and the internal temperature of the vehicle was 129 degrees, court documents said.

The police officer who arrived on the scene said the child was disoriented, pale and lethargic. The victim, who was wearing long cotton pants, also appeared to be desperate for water, “aggressively” grabbing a bottle when offered, court documents said.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service had issued an excessive heat warning through Sunday. The warning alerts the public about extremely dangerous heat conditions. Saturday was expected to be the hottest day of the stretch.

Mother accused of leaving a child in a hot car allegedly knew it was wrong

Yazzie allegedly said she left her daughter inside the car because she didn’t want to enter the store.

Court documents said Yazzie claimed she didn’t turn on the vehicle because she was afraid her daughter would drive away.

“The defendant admitted she knew it was wrong to place her daughter inside of a locked vehicle without the air conditioning on and to leave her unattended,” court documents said.

Yazzie also allegedly admitted the temperature wasn’t suitable for her daughter to be inside the vehicle without it running.

Authorities charged her with one count of child abuse. Her bond was set at $15,000.

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Mesa woman left her child in car that measured 129 degrees, police say