An Arkansas woman faces charges after three children were left inside a vehicle for nearly an hour on a day when the heat index reached the mid-90s, police say.
Jennifer Michelle Arnold, 30, of Manila was arrested on three counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and one count of obstruction of governmental operations, records show.
Employees at Jonesboro Family Dental, 912 Osler Drive in Jonesboro, reported finding the children Tuesday in distress inside the non-running 2014 Ford Fusion with its windows “barely” down.
The report states that the children were left inside the vehicle around 10:55 a.m. By 12:06 p.m., police had responded to the dentist office, where they spoke with workers.
One witness told an officer that the young children — all under the age of 3 — were “screaming and very sweaty” inside the car. They had soiled diapers and needed changing, another witness told authorities.
The children were taken inside the dentist office, where they were cooled down with wet paper towels and given ice water to drink, according to the report. Workers said they were also fed crackers and macaroni and cheese.
Arnold at one point tried to take the children back into her custody, appearing “like nothing was wrong,” police said. A witness said the children were “kicking, screaming and yelling” and did not want to go with her.
When police arrived, Arnold initially gave a fake name and date of birth while reportedly slurring her speech and being unsteady on her feet, the report states.
An employee of Northeast Arkansas Treatment Services told an officer that Arnold was at the clinic that day to get her daily doses of methadone.
While being placed under arrest, Arnold complained about seizures and that her heart was palpitating, prompting emergency medical personnel on scene to come to her aid.
Arnold was later taken to the Craighead County jail, where she remained as of Wednesday afternoon, according to an online inmate roster.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services took custody of the three children, authorities said.