WILKES-BARRE TWP. — A Wilkes-Barre woman was arraigned Tuesday on charges she left three children unattended in a vehicle while she shopped inside a department store.
Township police allege Jenisha Belen Escalera-Feliciano, 29, of Metcalf Street, was inside Walmart Supercenter for nearly 30 minutes, leaving a 9-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 2-month-old alone inside her vehicle on June 27.
Police noted the temperature was 70 degrees with mostly sunny skies.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police responded to the Walmart parking lot when a woman noticed three children including a baby who were unattended in a vehicle at about 12:42 p.m.
Prior to officers arriving at the scene, the three children left the vehicle and walked into the store.
Police said the 9-year-old carried the baby in a “hazardous manner” with the 2-year-old following.
Officers were at the vehicle when Escalera-Feliciano approached with four children.
Escalera-Feliciano allegedly told police, “I was only in the store for a few minutes. I didn’t want to disturb them. I left the keys in the ignition but the vehicle was off.”
Police said surveillance cameras recorded Escalera-Feliciano park her vehicle and enter the store with an 8-year-old child, leaving the three children unattended in the vehicle.
Police noted the cameras recorded the children were unattended for about 30 minutes before they exited the vehicle and walked into the store.
Escalera-Feliciano was arraigned by District Judge Michael Dotzel in Wilkes-Barre Township on three counts of endangering the welfare of children and two counts of leaving a child in an unattended vehicle. She was released on $25,000 unsecured bail.