MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 32-year-old St. Paul father has been charged after he allegedly left his 3-year-old daughter locked inside a hot car in early August, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
According to the criminal complaint, Mendota Heights police were dispatched on Aug. 8 at 10:47 a.m. to check on the welfare of a child on Lexington Avenue. Police were told that the car was locked, the vehicle wasn’t running, and the child was sweating and wiping her forehead.
Upon arrival, the officer observed the child inside the locked car and tried to open the car using an unlock tool. After that was unsuccessful, the officer using a hydrant wrench to smash the driver’s window. The officer then unlocked the car and was able to make contact with the child, who had sweaty and warm skin, the complaint said.
About 15 minutes after being dispatched, police were able to make contact with the child’s father, identified as Alexander Frederick Rupp, who told police he arrived at the location at 10:45 a.m. He said he argued with the child while they were driving to the location, so when they arrived he left her in the car. He admitted he probably should have either not brought the child with him or should have left the car running, the complaint said.
A further investigation learned the temperature outside on the incident date was 73.9 degrees with a dew point of 59.
Rupp now faces one gross misdemeanor count of child neglect. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.