MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced grand jury charges – including an additional misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge – against a Lynbrook woman who left a 3-year-old girl unattended in a hot car parked in a lot outside a Target store in Hicksville in June.
Christine Nunes, 37, was arraigned today before Nassau County Court Judge George Peck on grand jury charges of Reckless Endangerment in the 1st Degree (a D felony), Reckless Endangerment in the 2nd Degree (an A misdemeanor), Endangering the Welfare of a Child (an A misdemeanor) and Petit Larceny (an A misdemeanor). Bail was continued at $50,000 cash or bond. Nunes faces up to seven years in prison, and she is due back in court on Aug. 22.
“When this defendant made the choice to leave a toddler in a car on a hot and sunny summer day, she knowingly put the life of the little girl in her care at risk,” DA Rice said. “Were it not for chance, the quick-thinking of passersby, and the efforts of first responders, this defendant would be facing even more serious charges than those announced today.”
On June 24 at 1:03 p.m., Nunes parked her car in a lot at the Target Store at Broadway Mall in Hicksville. Nunes exited and locked the vehicle with the 3-year-old girl she was caring for in the backseat and entered the Target store where she shoplifted several items of merchandise.
A pedestrian who noticed the girl in the backseat informed a Target employee, who called police. Officers responding to the scene removed the girl from the car and took her to Syosset Hospital where she was treated and released to her father.
The girl was in the locked car with the windows rolled up on a hot and sunny day for a total of 40 minutes.
Nunes was arrested by the Nassau County Police Department when she returned to her vehicle with the stolen items.
Assistant District Attorney Melissa Scannell of DA Rice’s Special Victims Bureau is prosecuting the case. Nunes is represented by David Ledgin, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.