MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police say a man went to work in St. Paul Saturday, leaving his 4-year-old son alone in a car for hours.
According to the criminal complaint, the boy, identified as Riley Taylor, died while in a car near CHS Field, which was holding Grillfest on Saturday. His father, 26-year-old Kristopher Alexander Taylor, ran into Regions Hospital with the boy, who was not breathing. Doctors working on him thought he’d had a seizure, but anti-seizure medicine had no effect.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined the boy’s death was the result of hyperthermia.
Taylor, from Apple Valley, told police that he hadn’t been able to find anyone who could watch his son that day.
“He told the officers who were at the scene that he thought his son was dehydrated (and) he had left him in the car for a short period of time,” said Steve Linders, St. Paul Police spokesman.
Taylor told police he and his son had gone to Grill fest at CHS Field Saturday morning around 11:30 a.m.
He told police he brought his son to work with him before bringing him back to the car for a few hours, leaving the window cracked open.
Police say they spoke to Taylor’s co-workers, who told officers Taylor never left during his shift.
The father later told officers what really happened.
“The father told us that the child had in fact been in the vehicle all day while he had been at work, so at least five hours,” Linders said.
According to the criminal complaint, the lot where Taylor parked his car was entirely exposed to the sun. Taylor told officers he didn’t think it was that hot, and said he left his son in a car previously without anything happening, though he admitted he left the window rolled completely down that previous time.
“It doesn’t matter if the sun is direct or not,” said Julie Philbrook, a trauma prevention specialist. “Car temperature goes up three degrees every five minutes, so that’s almost 40 degrees in that first hour. So if it was a 65 degree day, in the first hour that car was over 100 degrees.”
Philbrook says you should never leave a child in a car unattended.
“Kids aren’t able to regulate their temperature,” she said. “So even just a little bit of rise can cause their core temperature to go to a point where it’s just too hot for them to survive.”
Taylor is charged with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, $20,000 or both upon conviction.