Man gets 9 months for leaving baby in store
— A man received a nine-month sentence Monday for leaving his 15-monthold daughter in a shopping
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.