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Augusta mother charged after leaving baby in locked SUV, police say

Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:16 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 21, 2014 9:27 AM
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An Augusta college student is facing charges after she left her 2-week-old child in the back of a locked SUV so she could take a cosmetology exam, police said.

Alicia Manigault, 20, was charged Thursday with first-degree cruelty to children after leaving her 2-week-old son in her locked SUV, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Alicia Manigault, 20, was charged Thursday with first-degree cruelty to children after leaving her 2-week-old son in her locked SUV, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Alicia Manigault, 20, was charged Thursday with first-degree cruelty to children, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report.

Deputies were called to the parking lot of Virginia College, 2807 Wylds Road, about 8:45 a.m. after Raisa Garnett, a school security guard, heard the infant crying.

Deputies Jacob Green, Oleg Grinko, Michael Rollins and J. Scott responded to the call. They saw a baby carrier in the rear cargo area of a dark gray 2011 Toyota 4-Runner with an infant inside, covered by a white blanket. The engine was not running and the windows were down about 1 to 2 inches.

The sunroof was open and Green climbed through it and unlocked the doors, freeing the baby and allowing first responders from the fire department to treat him.

The infant – identified as Christopher Howard – was covered in sweat and first responders determined he was in critical condition, according to the report.

The baby received hydration treatment at Georgia Regents Medical Center and was released Thursday afternoon to his maternal grandmother. The Department of Family and Children Services is investigating.

Manigault, of the 3300 block of Ridgecrest Drive, told deputies she left the baby in the vehicle while she went inside to get something from her class. Manigault stated she was only inside for 10 minutes. But Cassandra Brooks, a teacher at Virginia College, told deputies Manigault was there to take a test that was to begin at 8:30 a.m., the report said.

Manigault said a friend from Virginia College was supposed to be waiting with her child but Manigault did not trust the friend with her vehicle so she left her son inside, out of direct sunlight, and locked the SUV, according to the report.

Manigault apologized for leaving the child inside, but deputies “did not see or hear any signs of emotion or remorse until the suspect was taken into custody,” the report said.

Manigault’s vehicle was parked in a blacktop lot without shade, the report said.

The infant is believed to have been in the vehicle for 30 to 60 minutes, according to Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Monica Belser.

Ronita Johnson, who witnessed the incident, told deputies she saw Manigault “looking around, then walking around (the 4-Runner) carrying a child’s car seat covered with a white blanket.” Johnson saw Manigault place the child’s car seat in the rear of the vehicle and walk to the college, the report said.

According to the National Weather Service, the recorded temperature at Bush Field airport less than 10 minutes after the incident was 82 degrees.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures of 131 to 172 degrees when outside temperatures are 80 to 100 degrees. Experts said cracking windows does little to affect the rapid increase in temperature.

A child’s organs start to fail at 104 degrees, and 107 degrees can cause death, said Reg Griffin, the chief communications officer for the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

In warm weather, it takes less than 10 minutes to reach life-threatening levels for small children, whose bodies absorb more heat on a hot day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Griffin encouraged passers-by to get involved when they see children left in cars.

“There’s a tendency for people to see a child in a car and think it’s a family issue, so ‘I won’t get involved,’ but that’s a poor decision,” he said.

On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths, according to KidsAndCars.org. Eight children have died in Georgia this year, Griffin said, including a 22-month-old Cobb County boy who died Wednesday after being left unattended and strapped into the car seat of his father’s vehicle while he was at work. The man has been charged with murder.

On Monday, a 9-month-old Florida girl died after being left in her father’s pickup.

In the majority of the cases, it comes down to simply forgetting the child is there, according to KidsAndCars.org, but in 11 percent of the cases the children are intentionally left behind. In 30 percent of cases, children get into cars by themselves and can’t get out.

About 30 percent of children who die in hot cars are younger than 1.

SAFETY TIPS

• Never leave a child alone in or around cars even for a minute.

• Put something you’ll need, such as a cellphone, purse or briefcase, in the back seat so you’re guaranteed to look before leaving the car.

• Make a habit of opening the back door before locking the vehicle.

• Keep a large stuffed animal in the car seat when it isn’t in use. When it is in use, put the stuffed animal in the front seat as a visual reminder the child seat is occupied.

• Have a baby sitter or child care center call if a child doesn’t show up as expected.

• Keep vehicles locked at all times and check vehicles and trunks first when a child goes missing.

• Get involved if you see a child alone in a vehicle. Call 911 and get the child out as quickly as possible if he appears sick or hot.

• Use drive-through services at banks, restaurants and other businesses when available to avoid having to leave the vehicle.

Source: KidsAndCars.org

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Pops
8370
Points
Pops 06/19/14 - 12:26 pm
12
1
I'm sorry

but this sounds like someone did this on purpose...........

dwb619
93503
Points
dwb619 06/19/14 - 01:02 pm
8
2
Pops

I am thinking the same thing.

Fiat_Lux
15420
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/19/14 - 06:52 pm
17
0
Now this is the kind of parent who deserves prison.

If this baby had died because of this intentional act, it probably would merit the most serious and extreme punishment possible.

Even if the person who left the baby in the car is a stupid as a rock, they clearly realized what they were doing was wrong by virtue of the fact that they tried to hide the kid and car seat from being seen.

And two weeks old! She probably came unbelievably close to killing her baby. That little boy has angels on his toes.

AFjoe
2949
Points
AFjoe 06/19/14 - 01:26 pm
10
0
Throw the book at the moron.

Two like stories with different circumstances & outcome. The idiot that left a two week old baby while she went and took a test has to be a complete moron. This simple minded individual needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The father who lost his child will now be charged with murder. He will be pay the rest of his life even if he is found not guilty.

Itsallnew11
547
Points
Itsallnew11 06/19/14 - 01:27 pm
12
0
This was intentional

and was done with malice and aforethought. This woman, not mother, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As a single mother I struggled with child care issues too but if they weren't in a wholesome, loving and safe environment I changed my plans. She has had 9 months to make child care arrangements so this is inexcusable.

grinder48
1954
Points
grinder48 06/19/14 - 01:44 pm
0
0
Student Hero
Unpublished

The student who rescued this child and reported the crime is a hero!

Marinerman1
4846
Points
Marinerman1 06/19/14 - 01:46 pm
11
0
If the child dies, then

If the child dies, then execute the adult. NO EXCUSES, District Attorney ! NO PLEA BARGAINS ! By covering the infant up, so that it could not be seen, is proof enough for me. Let's wait for a name to come up.

BamaMan
2356
Points
BamaMan 06/19/14 - 01:48 pm
12
0
Thank God!

Thank GOD for the passerby, and the care to get involved, or this precious soul would be dead. This was INTENTIONAL! To cover it up hidden in the back of the car???? This is just unbelievable.

LillyfromtheMills
13236
Points
LillyfromtheMills 06/19/14 - 02:12 pm
7
0
I knew this was going to happen

Death by car. So sad it sounds intentional -

Truth Matters
6824
Points
Truth Matters 06/19/14 - 03:00 pm
1
2
Look again!

It should not be needed, but Georgia has a new campaign, initiated by the Governor and First Lady, to remind people of the danger of leaving children unattended in vehicles. Share this link with everyone you know, regardless if you think they are responsible. And be safe outside in this heat.

http://www.decal.ga.gov/ChildCareServices/TransportationNewsConference.aspx

OJP
6634
Points
OJP 06/19/14 - 03:35 pm
5
0
Yikes

It definitely sounds like the person who left the baby there intentionally tried to conceal it.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 06/19/14 - 04:33 pm
0
0
The attempted
Unpublished

murderer in this case should be; castrated, forced hysterectomy (depending on gender)before being sentenced to lethal injection. I still prefer ol' Sparky.

IBeDogGone
3014
Points
IBeDogGone 06/19/14 - 07:45 pm
6
0
Old School

Glad I had my babies in the 70's when the doctor did not release you to drive until the baby was 6 weeks old. Seriously The fact that it was an intentional act sends my BP over the roof.

stuaby
3902
Points
stuaby 06/19/14 - 07:53 pm
7
0
"...remind people of the

"...remind people of the danger of leaving children unattended in vehicles. Share this link with everyone you know, regardless if you think they are responsible. And be safe outside in this heat."

The people who are prone to do this will never see this reminder or the tips the AC put up there, nor will they ever read an article or hear a news story about the aftermath of any of these cases.

I don't know what the answer is.

Maybe if we could pay to have these tips and reminders inserted directly (not ads during breaks) into:

Honey Boo Boo type shows
Basketball wives type shows
HipHop of [whatever city] type shows
Jersey shore type shows
Movie/Music award shows
Entertainment Tonight type shows

...then we might have a chance to put a dent in this. Otherwise, we're wasting time putting these reminders in newspapers and other cerebrally oriented media.

Just My Opinion
5627
Points
Just My Opinion 06/19/14 - 07:58 pm
3
0
Great, great, great job by

Great, great, great job by the wonderful person who was selfless enough to risk their own safety by climbing into that vehicle! I hope the paper does a followup and let's us know who this lifesaver is.

freeradical
1075
Points
freeradical 06/19/14 - 08:17 pm
3
4
Meal Ticket Tissue Mass

A couple of weeks prior and the liquidation of the tissue mass would be

applauded by the everyone right up to the president as a matter

of personal choice .

As my dear mother used to say :

" it's a hell of a time to decide to drain the pond when you are up

to your armpits in alligators . "

Or child killers as the case may be .

This is the land of death , and the gaping jaws of hell are now within

sight .

Little Lamb
45943
Points
Little Lamb 06/19/14 - 09:17 pm
6
0
coverup

Putting the blanket over the child in the carrier in the rear area shows deliberate action to conceal what the mother knew to be wrong.

Fiat Lux is absolutely correct that God sent a guardian angel to save this baby.

I saw the young man on Channel 6 News at 6 tonight, and he tells a different story than does Bianca Cain Johnson. Hopefully, tomorrow's printed edition will have corrected this on-line boo-boo.

Thank you for helping save this child, young man!

Connor Threlkeld
747
Points
Connor Threlkeld 06/19/14 - 10:09 pm
6
0
Little Lamb, the only

Little Lamb, the only difference in the stories is that WJBF reports Mr. Bell reported the baby to the school's officer, at which point the stories are consistent. At least, that is the only difference in the written version of the story. I have not seen the broadcast.
The person interviewed by WJBF was not listed as a witness in the Sheriff's Office report. We contacted the witnesses listed in the report, and only Ronita Johnson spoke with us about the matter. We have no reason to doubt WJBF's report, but we have not been in contact with Mr. Bell, so we cannot confirm his information.

amarie525
2516
Points
amarie525 06/19/14 - 11:30 pm
4
1
unbelievable

I feel sure that her teacher would not have minded if the infant was brought into the school while she took her exam. Why she didn't think that was an option blows my mind. I hope he doesn't have any permanent neurological damage from this terrible abuse.

deestafford
27564
Points
deestafford 06/20/14 - 12:03 am
6
0
And the perp and the baby have different last names...

And the perp and the baby have different last names because...?

Young Fred
17448
Points
Young Fred 06/20/14 - 01:15 am
9
0
The mother

Will end up getting extra assistance from the Feds.

I mean it's obvious ain't it? It's merely a question of money. More money will magically make this, um, "person" a better mother - right?

Yep, I'm thinking we need another program to right this situation.

iaaffg
2214
Points
iaaffg 06/20/14 - 05:56 am
5
0
alicia is a shoo-in candidate

alicia is a shoo-in candidate for sterilization, and another example of why the women's liberation movement has failed miserably in this country. why not get on birth control, chickies, and avoid having babies you can't afford, don't know how to care for, or don't really want? this is the year 2014; there are numerous birth control measures available, one being 'just say no' and keep those legs closed, ladies. and btw, where's the daddy in this particular sorry story? he was there for the making, where is he now when the fun and games are over and reality has now reared it's ugly head? oh, no daddy around, i guess, the typical story of this so-called 'modern' generation with all its single mama-drama horse hockey going on. however, there appears to be money to attend cosmetology school, and money to pay on a 2011 toyota forerunner, but no money for a babysitter for a few hours?

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 06/20/14 - 06:02 am
5
0
Babies are not people. If

Babies are not people. If you do not want them you abort them. Plus we are all part of a collective who are entitled to an education and nothing, not even the health of a defenseless child, can stand in the way of that...sarcastic of course. Ladies and Gentlemen may God have mercy on our society. There have been dead beat dads since the stone age (with no excuse of course). But when we are so morally bankrupt that a mother can leave her 2 week old meal ticket...uh child unattended in a car in summer, the "great society" failed but will still gather votes.

seenitB4
87116
Points
seenitB4 06/20/14 - 06:26 am
4
6
Back up--back up please

Don't burn her at the stake just yet...

She did wrong--NO DOUBT....she is also young & naïve....but where is GOOD OLE DAD??

She was taking a test to GET A JOB....think about that for a moment....getting a sitter was the least of her problems....this is the crux of our MANY fatherless children...no job--no father in the house--no way hosea to pay the bills...some don't have family help & won't ever have that...I was a teen mother at one time & I can remember without Aunts--Grandparents & husband, my life would have been a living hell.
I don't know for sure about the dad situation but I do know how many suffer because they aren't always there.

belle
305
Points
belle 06/20/14 - 07:58 am
0
0
Did I read this correctly?
Unpublished

Johnson saw the woman walk around the car with the covered carrier and did nothing? Thirty minutes later Garnett discovered the child and rescued the boy. Why isn't Johnson charged? If she had gone straight to Garnett and reported what she saw he would have investigated immediately. I can't imagine there won't be long term health problems for the child.

Little Lamb
45943
Points
Little Lamb 06/20/14 - 08:16 am
4
0
Green

Thank you for responding, Mr. Threlkeld. Upon re-reading paragraph 5 in the story above, I see I mis-read it yesterday, and my earlier post is not completely correct. You folks did a good job with this story.

Marinerman1
4846
Points
Marinerman1 06/20/14 - 08:26 am
5
0
As The Story Unfolds Some More

My first post was made, based upon the initial information first reported. Thankfully, our fears did not come to pass, and the infant is okay. As the story unfolds, we are learning more. The fact that last names do not match, answers one assumption. At least she is in school and is trying to better herself. Unfortunately, she, as it seems a lot of the time, was actively "boinking" with no birth control. So, she got knocked up, before she could finish school and get a productive job. The supreme question I have, is why did she not ask her Mom to take care of the baby ? Her Mom is in the picture, since the baby was remanded to her. Lastly, she must be doing okay, since she is driving a nicer car than I am.

Eos
153
Points
Eos 06/20/14 - 08:32 am
3
2
Children and Pets

A reminder not to leave pets in vehicles either.

b1
151
Points
b1 06/20/14 - 08:44 am
5
0
Trash!

What a piece of trash!! done on purpose...NO EXCUSE! Take the child from this monster.

sugarbutton
884
Points
sugarbutton 06/20/14 - 09:17 am
2
0
I truly don't care the circumstances

I truly don't care the circumstances, I will knock the window out to get to someone in a hot car.....I will not say accidents don't happen, but a witness saw her carrying the baby in the carrier and put it in the back...really. I will not hesitate to aid someone if at all possible. Thank you Lord for someone calling for help. At two weeks old, she could have taken the baby in with her to take her test. I'm sure in my heart that it would have been ok for that short period. Lord, watch over these children.

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