Police have arrested a man in Groton, Connecticut, accused of leaving a 6-month-old child in a 130-degree car for at least half an hour while he went grocery shopping on Tuesday afternoon.
According to police, 33-year-old Brian Pavao parked his car at a shopping plaza on North Frontage Road in New London and left the baby inside while he entered a ShopRite supermarket.
Pavao told police he was texting on his phone as he left the car and was distracted, according to the incident report. He reportedly told police he forgot the baby was there.
A passerby called police around 2:30 p.m. after spotting the child. When officers and detectives arrived, the baby was drenched in sweat alone in the car, which had been left unlocked, police said.
Police said the temperature inside the car was more than 130 degrees and the child had been inside for at least 30 minutes. Three of the windows were rolled up and the fourth was open less than an inch, according to police.
The baby, who was breathing and alert, was taken to the hospital for treatment, police said. Police notified the Department of Children and Families, and the baby is said to be doing just fine.
Authorities contacted the store to ask that Pavao return to the parking lot.
When Pavao ran out of the store and saw that the baby was OK, his "demeanor changed drastically" and he seemed to calm down and laugh with relief, the incident report says.
He was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor.
"This one is a little more than stupid, this is closer to the criminal side in my mind," the judge hearing the case said during Pavao's court appearance on Wednesday.
Pavao has two more children who live in Texas with their mother, Danielle Pavao. She spoke exclusively with NBC Connecticut on Wednesday.
"He loves them but he is irresponsible and doesn't think before he does things, and it tends to put them in not the greatest situations," she explained in a phone conversation. "It's like he is incapable of being the kind of father you need to be."
Pavao was originally held on a $75,000 bond. The judge lowered Pavao's bond to $25,000 on Wednesday and set his next court date for July 15.
Family members at Pavao's home declined to comment Tuesday and Wednesday.