Mother facing charges after she allegedly left child in car while grocery shopping

Middletown Township police believe the 1-year-old was left in the car for about a half hour.

ByCaroline Goggin WPVI logo
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Mother accused of leaving child in car while she went grocery shopping
When officers got to the store, they found a 1-year-old who they believe had been in that car alone for about a half hour.

MIDDLETOWN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Bucks County mother is facing charges after police say she left her child inside a hot car as she went grocery shopping.

It happened at the Giant grocery store on New Falls Road on Monday afternoon.

Middletown Township police say around 12:45 p.m. someone reported a child left in a parked car without an adult.

When officers got to the store, they found a 1-year-old who they believe had been in the car alone for about a half hour.

Patricia Baskerville

"The child was initially unresponsive. They did ultimately get a response out of the child, but the child was obviously in some distress," said Det. Let. Steve Forman with the Middletown Township Police Department.

Police say the child was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center to be evaluated.

When the child's mother, 40-year-old Patricia Baskerville, left the grocery store, she was arrested on several charges including endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a controlled substance.

Action News attempted to speak with her at her home in Penndel Borough, but there was no response.

"It's extremely dangerous. It happens every year. It happens at casinos. It happens at malls and other places," said Forman.

According to AAA, on a typical 80-degree summer day, the temperature of a car increases by 20 degrees in only 10 minutes.

On hotter days, AAA says it's common for temperatures in a parked car to reach between 120 and 140 degrees.

The Bucks County DA said in a statement, "There is rarely a good reason to leave a 1-year-old unattended in a car for even a brief amount of time, regardless of whether it's running with the air conditioner on or not. Thankfully, the child seems to be ok."

Police say it's extremely important to remember just how hot your car can get with temperatures expected to rise this week.

As for Baskerville, she was arraigned Monday night and released on $25,000.

She's due back in court next Wednesday.

Police tell say Bucks County Children and Youth Services are now involved in the case.