Grandfather charged with leaving child unattended in car at Best Buy parking lot

HANOVER, Md. - For the second time this week, an adult was charged with neglect after leaving a child unattended in a car for an extended amount of time, Anne Arundel County police said.

Juan Carlos Calva Diaz, 47, of the 8800 block of Flowerstock Row in Columbia was arrested Thursday outside the Best Buy at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover after he allegedly left his 6-year-old grandson alone in his vehicle for about three hours. Diaz was charged with confining a child under 8 unattended and with neglect of a minor.

Police said officers responded to the store parking lot, located in the 7000 block of Arundel Mills Circle, for a report of an unattended child in a parked vehicle. 

A witness reported finding the child in a Chrysler Town and Country van around 4:30 p.m. The witness returned to the car after 6 p.m. and noticed that the child was still alone in the vehicle. Police said the witness then contacted an off-duty Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Deputy working secondary employment at the mall.

Police then arrived and found the child unattended in the van with its hazard lights on. The child unlocked the door and exited the van, which was covered with snow, police said. Numerous unsuccessful attempts were made to identify and locate the operator and/or owner of the vehicle.

At about 7:30 p.m., the child's mother and grandfather arrived back at the van. Police said they told them that the child was driven to the mall by the Diaz, who was there to pick up the child's mother. The child was transported to the Baltimore Washington Medical Center as a precautionary measure.

He was examined and determined to be in good health, showed no signs of physical child abuse, but was cold and hungry. The child was released to his mother.

This incident came just two days after Alicia Denice Brown , 24, was accused of leaving her 4-year-old daughter unattended in her car for eight hours while she was inside the Maryland Live! Casino; coincidentally located not far from the most recent incident.

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