VALLEJO – On August 10, 2021 at approximately 4:21 p.m., Vallejo Police Officers responded to the report of an infant child left in a hot vehicle in the 100 block of Plaza Drive in Vallejo.
Upon arrival, officers located an infant child sitting in a car-seat in the backseat of a vehicle with all four of the windows rolled down. Temperatures in Vallejo at the time were in the upwards of 81 degrees, with in-car temperatures slightly higher. A group of good Samaritans had surrounded the vehicle and stepped in to help the baby and speak with officers about what they witnessed.
Officers searched businesses in the shopping plaza where the vehicle was parked and minutes later, identified 19-year-old Selena Cook of Vallejo as the mother of the 3-month old infant. Cook was located at a nail salon in the shopping plaza and stated that she was getting her nails done. The baby was left unattended in the vehicle for at least 30-45 minutes.
Cook was arrested on charges of child endangerment and the infant child, who survived, was transported to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation. The infant was then turned over to Child Protective Services following medical clearance.
“One of the most fundamental responsibilities we have as parents is to protect and care for our children above our own needs,” Chief of Police Shawny K. Williams stated. As a parent, it was extremely disheartening to know that a 3-month-old was left in a hot car unattended and defenseless.”
“Our department is truly grateful for the good Samaritans that stepped in to alert the authorities to save this baby. As a community, we must continually rally around protecting our children,” Chief Williams continued.
The Vallejo Police Department would like parents and guardians to understand that leaving a baby unattended in a vehicle is illegal, puts a child in great danger of harm or death and can lead to criminal charges. State law pursuant to vehicle code 15620 (a) prohibits “a parent, legal guardian or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger” to be left unattended in a vehicle without active supervision of a person at least 12 years of age or older. Under no circumstances should any baby, be left alone.
Information released by Vallejo Police