Man gets 9 months for leav­ing baby in store

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A man re­ceived a nine-month sen­tence Mon­day for leav­ing his 15-mon­thold daugh­ter in a shop­ping

ELK­TON

cart in­side the Wal­mart in Elk­ton and then — af­ter buy­ing a box of dough­nuts — go­ing to his ve­hi­cle in the park­ing lot and fall­ing asleep.

Re­tired Ce­cil County Dis- trict Court Judge Stephen Baker im­posed a three-year sen­tence on Robert Par­rott, 28, of Mil­ton, Del., and then sus­pended two years and three months of it, mo­ments af­ter Par­rott had pleaded guilty to reck­less en­dan­ger­ment.

Par­rott pleaded guilty to that of­fense, which is pun­ish­able by up to five years in prison, as part of a plea deal in which pros­e­cu­tors placed child de­ser­tion, child ne­glect and two other charges on the stet, or in­ac­tive, docket.

The state can prose­cute a de­fen­dant on a stet­ted charge at any time dur­ing the next three years. How­ever, dur­ing the last two years, pros­e­cu­tors must first con­vince a judge that prob­a­ble cause ex­ists to do so.

Baker or­dered Par­rott to serve three years of su- per­vised pro­ba­tion af­ter he serves his nine-month term in the county jail.

Mo­ments be­fore sen­tenc­ing, Par­rott re­port­edly told the judge that he was a re­cov­er­ing drug ad­dict when a child of his died in 2014 and that, as a re­sult of that event, he started us­ing nar­cotics again.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors es­ti­mate that Par­rott’s baby could have been left unat­tended for 30 to 45 min­utes, had it not been for a store em­ployee notic­ing some­thing was amiss and tak­ing ac­tion dur­ing the in­ci­dent about 9 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Wal­mart Su­per­center in Elk­ton, po­lice re­ported.

An­other worker and his man­ager took the child to a store of­fice and called 911, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

A worker had no­ticed the baby alone in a shop­ping cart in check­out aisle 13 and alerted a loss pre­ven­tion em­ployee, who, in turn, checked store sur­veil­lance cam­eras and dis­cov­ered that a man, later iden­ti­fied as Par­rott, had left the child, ac­cord­ing to court records.

“(The worker) was able to track the man (Par­rott) on cam­era and watched as he walked into check­out aisle 13 and then exit the aisle, leav­ing the cart with the in­fant at the check­out aisle. Par­rott then walked to a dis­play and grabbed a box of dough­nuts,” Cpl. Ron­ald Odom of the Elk­ton Po­lice De­part­ment wrote in charg­ing doc­u­ments.

At that point, Par­rott walked to aisle 1, which is on the op­po­site end of the check­out aisles from where he had left his baby, and he paid for the dough­nuts be­fore leav­ing the store, po­lice re­ported.

Odom and the loss pre­ven­tion em­ployee found Par­rott in the park­ing lot, slumped over in the driver’s seat of his car with the dough­nuts on his lap, the car run­ning and the driver’s side door un­locked, po­lice said.

Odom tapped Par­rott on the cheek nu­mer­ous times be­fore he woke up, po­lice added. In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve that Par­rott was un­der the in­flu­ence of an anx­i­ety pill that he had taken shortly be­fore the in­ci­dent, po­lice noted.

Dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Odom learned that Par­rott had met his girl­friend — the mother of the child — at the Wal­mart ear­lier that night, po­lice said. Af­ter they shopped to­gether for a while, Par­rott walked away with the baby in a shop­ping cart, bought the dough­nuts and then walked out of the store, leav­ing the unat­tended baby in aisle 13, po­lice added.

“The mother was ul­ti­mately lo­cated in­side the store. She was up­set and ad­vised that she didn’t know where Par­rott had walked off to, but was tex­ting him and try­ing to find him for ap­prox­i­mately 30 (to) 45 min­utes, be­fore be­ing called to the front of the store by man­age­ment,” court records show.

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