Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Dallas police say Ernest Pea left his 2-year-old nephew inside his pickup truck for about 10 to 15 minutes. He's not charged with abandoning a child.
Ernest Pea is behind bars, charged with abandoning a child. Dallas police said the 57-year-old left his 2-year old nephew inside his pick-up truck. It happened around 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Morris Montgomery says he saw Pea go into a shop on South Lamar to exchange scrap metal. "It takes a while to get your products on the scale, to get weighed," said Montgomery.
Montgomery said while Pea crossed the street to go to the shop, an officer noticed the child in the vehicle.
Police said the boy was left in the car about 10 to 15 minutes.
"The officer came out, looked in it (the pick-up) the first time, went across the street and asked some guys, 'where did the guy go that left kid in truck?'" said Montgomery. "So he went back in and looked again, then opened door and took kid out."
Montgomery said the child looked heated.
"The officer had him and patted him on his shoulder to make sure he was okay," said Montgomery. "I couldn't believe the man left the kid in the car."
According to Children's Medical Center of Dallas, leaving a child in a hot vehicle could prove fatal.
"In 10 minutes the temperature in the car will increase by 19 degrees," said Jamie Pelletier, coordinator of Injury Prevention Service at Children’s. "So being left in the car, there is a risk of hyperthermia."
Pelletier says at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, internal organs start to shut down.
NBC 5's meteorologists said it was around 90 degrees on Wednesday around the time the child was left in the truck.
Pelletier said more public awareness campaigns may be behind the raised awareness and law enforcement on the issue.