Family of Baytown man says he can stay in jail after leaving child in hot car

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- A father has been charged after he allegedly left his child inside a hot car for about 20 minutes.

Baytown police say 24-year-old Gene Curry left his daughter in the car. The windows were up and she was covered in a blanket, making the situation even worse.

Officers say the child was discovered inside the car in a Kroger parking lot.

Curry allegedly told officers the child had been in the car for 10 minutes. But after reviewing surveillance video, officers determined it was nearly twice that long.

"If something would have happened in the store to delay him, if he would have been five, maybe 10 minutes longer inside that store, this child, I mean, we could have a very different story today. A very tragic story," said Lt. Steve Dorris with Baytown Police Department.

Curry's grandmother, the child's great-grandmother, said Curry loves his kids but there's no excuse for what happened.

"I think that he's just a kid and he thought he was just going to be in there long enough to get the baby food and something must have caught his eye. I don't know. There's no excuse for it. None, whatsoever," said Christine Hayes, the baby's great-grandmother. "I don't think he'll ever forgive himself, and we're not bailing him out, because we think this is the lesson he needs."

Here are some important reminders from Baytown police:

  • Police say cracking a window or parking in the shade isn't a sufficient safeguard.

  • A child's body temperature rises five time faster than an adult's does.

  • Even if it's 60 degrees outside, your car can still heat up to well above 110 degrees.

Curry is now charged with child endangerment.

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