Police: Dad locked daugh­ter, 4, in car to at­tend court hear­ing

Tampa Bay Times - - Etc - Times staff

CLEAR­WA­TER — A 51year-old man was ar­rested Thurs­day on a charge of child ne­glect af­ter police said he left his 4-year-old daugh­ter in a locked car for two hours while he was in court — at a hear­ing for a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­junc­tion.

Dean Baaj was ar­rested at the Pinel­las County Court­house at 315 Court St. Court records show the in­junc­tion was be­ing sought against him.

The in­ci­dent started at 8:45 a.m., police said, when Baaj showed up for the 9 a.m. hear­ing. He left the 4-yearold girl in a 2004 Mercedes, rolled up the win­dows and locked the doors, ac­cord­ing to Clear­wa­ter police, and left the sun roof open.

About 10:45 a.m., police said, passers-by in the park­ing lot heard the child call for help and told a bailiff in­side the court­house.

The child was freed from the car, ex­am­ined by paramedics said then re­leased into the cus­tody of her mother.

Baaj was taken into cus­tody and booked into the Pinel­las County jail.

The out­side tem­per­a­ture when the child was dis­cov­ered was about 82 de­grees, police said. The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice said it also briefly rained in Clear­wa­ter around that time of the morn­ing. The de­tails of the in­junc­tion hear­ing and the judge’s rul­ing were not known.


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