A Columbus, Ohio man is accused of intentionally locking a disabled child in a hot car to punish the child’s mother. Brandon Windham, 31, was arrested Thursday by officers after witnesses saw Windham roll up the windows of the car, lock the doors and walk away according to The Clarion-Ledger.
Windham and the child’s mother “were involved in an altercation earlier in the day,” Columbus Police Department Assistant Chief Fred Shelton said. Shelton said it appears that Windham locked the child in the car to “punish” the mother, who Windham was in a romantic relationship with. According to the police, Windham is not the child’s father.
Capt. Brent Swan said the child is a girl between the ages of 6 and 10. She was unable to free herself and was stuck for 10 to 20 minutes before officers rescued her, according to an NBC affiliate. The child was then transported to a local hospital. She was not injured in the incident.
Shelton said if the child had not been freed when she was, the situation could have been worse.
“The heat index was 90 degrees that day,” he said. “If she had sat in that car for an hour, it probably could have been something bad.”
Windham was arrested and charged with felony child abuse. He has been denied bond due to a hold from the Mississippi Department of Corrections, according to jail records.
[Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department]