Police: Woman left children unattended in running car for over an hour while shopping

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A Bethpage woman is accused of leaving her young children unattended for over an hour in a running car - while she went shopping.

Police say Erika Martinez left her 9-year-old and 3-year-old children in the car parked in a fire lane of the Walmart on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown.

According to court papers, another shopper who saw Martinez leave the boys and head into the store got worried and called 911.

Nassau police say when the officers arrived they let the children out of the car through an unlocked door.

About an hour later, police say Martinez finished shopping and was taken into custody.

"It was at night, it was dark," says Detective Vincent Garcia. "What if these kids had decided they waited too long and wanted to go try to find their mother. It could have ended differently."

Martinez pleaded not guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She was released on her own recognizance.

Martinez is due back before a judge next week.

 

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