A Desert Hot Springs man was in custody today on suspicion of leaving his 1-year-old step-granddaughter alone in a parked vehicle in triple-digit heat, Palm Springs police officials said.
At about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, dispatchers began receiving 911 calls reporting an infant locked in a vehicle in an Office Depot parking lot in the 5600 block of East Ramon Road, according to a written police statement.
As officers were en route, additional calls came in that the driver had returned to the vehicle and was arguing with witnesses. Upon arriving at the scene, officers arrested Narciso Mercado after determining through an investigation that he had left the baby girl unattended for at least 10 minutes without air conditioning, the statement said.
The girl was found sleeping in the back seat of the vehicle.
Medical personnel determined she was not in physical danger and she was released to her mother, police said.
Mercado — whose age was not released — was booked on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child with possible injury or death and was taken to the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, the statement said.