A Groton man said he forgot that he left his 6-month-old child in a car that reached more than 130 degrees.
Brian Pavao, 33, told police that he was texting while parking his vehicle at the Shop Rite Supermarket parking lot on North Frontage Road in New London on Tuesday night.
Police said the child was left in the car for 30 minutes or more, and they said the interior temperature of the vehicle at one point reached more than 130 degrees. The temperature at the Groton Airport that night was 76 degrees.
According to court documents, officers arrived to find the baby crying and soaked in sweat. They observed three out of four windows were rolled all of the way up, and the fourth window was open less than 1 inch.
Court documents also said Pavao was texting as he was parking his Honda FIT, which distracted him and caused him to forget about his baby girl in the back seat.
"Have some common sense. You can't leave your daughter in the car, not even a dog, people go to jail for a dog, imagine a child, it's unbelievable," said Rosa Perez of New London.
Matt Permett was working in the New London shopping plaza when the chaos unfolded.
"They said whoever owns the car please come outside, and he ran out. I guess he knew he left his child in the car," Permett said.
Pavao, who has a previous conviction from Rhode Island in 2003, was charged with risk of injury to a minor.
As the cruiser with Pavao inside pulled away, he asked officers, "can I roll down my window?"
The child was breathing and alert. The girl was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital for treatment. The state's Department of Children and Families was notified about the incident.
Pavao appeared at New London Superior Court on Wednesday.
"This case is a little more than stupid. It gets on the criminal side, more than just bad judgement," said Judge Kevin P. McMahon.
Following the court appearance, Pavao, who has four children total including two that live in Texas, is being held on $25,000 bond.
The mother of the child said she does not want Pavao seeing the child alone, and that is only if he posts his bond.
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