Parents Left Kids in Cold Car to Go to Wine Tasting: Cops

DC couple says they were monitoring their 2 toddlers with an iPhone
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2015 8:03 AM CST
Parents said they were monitoring their kids by smartphone while they sampled wines.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Two DC parents were arrested over the weekend after police say they left their two toddlers locked in a car while they attended a wine-tasting at a posh restaurant, the Washington Post reports. Cops say they received a call about the kids on Saturday afternoon and found the 22-month-old boy and 2-1/2-year-old girl, who was "crying hysterically," strapped into their car seats with coats but no hats or gloves; the temperature outside was about 35 degrees, WUSA-TV reports. Christopher Lucas (who also goes by Christophe, according to various sources) and his wife, Jennie Chang, were sampling inside for about an hour, restaurant staff said in the police report, and one of their smartphones—which they say they left in the car with an open connection so they could monitor the children—had had an open line for 58 minutes, the Post notes.

Lucas reportedly came outside as police tried to figure out how to get the kids out of the Volvo. "I left to go inside ... but I was watching them," he told cops, as per WUSA. "The children were sleeping." Lucas, said in court docs to be a software engineer, and Chang, employed by the FDA, reportedly live in a $1 million rowhouse near Dupont Circle. They were arrested for attempted second-degree child cruelty, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines. The kids are OK, the Post notes, and with DC child services. A woman who lives near where the car was found tells WJLA, "It's the same thing if you leave your kids in a hot car in the summer. I mean, the weather is terrible." Meanwhile, another DC resident tells the station he's similarly baffled. "Why not just get [a] babysitter?" he asks. (Maybe the parents should've just gone to a virtual wine-tasting.)

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