A viral video has prompted Richmond police to investigate allegations that a woman left a baby alone in her car on Saturday while shopping in GameStop, a video game store.
Manny Williams said he started filming when he saw the unsupervised child in the vehicle, which was parked in the parking lot of the store, located at the Macdonald 80 Shopping Center at 4200 Macdonald Ave. His video was published on Facebook here and had garnered more than 6,090 shares as of Monday morning.
In the video, Williams is seen reprimanding the woman as the child cried in the vehicle. While Saturday was unseasonably warm, in the video it appears the windows of the vehicle had been rolled down when the child was first spotted by Williams.
“Caught this stupid chick leaving baby in car to get video game,” Williams reported in his description of his video. “Had her 5 or 6 yr old other boy with her, but left baby in car over 20 min. only sent boy back by himself when I got on her first time before filming like that was OK..smh.”
Richmond police are investigating the incident, Lt. Felix Tan said.
Tan cautioned, however, that investigating child abuse charges with just video evidence won’t be simple. Police must establish the temperature outside and inside the car at the time, whether the air conditioner was on, and how long the child was actually inside the car, among other factors, Tan said. Also, Tan said Williams contacted police after the woman and child had already left. Tan says Williams should have contacted police as soon as he saw any offense.
Williams’ version of events differs from police. He claims he called police while the woman and children were still at the GameStop, but no officers came. He says he was later told by a police official that all on-duty officers had been responding to more pressing calls.