Father charged for leaving daughter alone in running car at Vaughan Mills

A Toronto man has been charged after leaving his young daughter in a car in the parking lot at Vaughan Mills. Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

A 33-year-old Toronto man is facing two charges related to leaving his three-year-old daughter unattended in a running car while he was inside a mall.

York Regional Police say they were called to a parking lot at Vaughan Mills just after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday after a security guard noticed a vehicle in an parking spot designated for pregnant women with a young child left alone inside.

Upon arrival, responding officers noticed the vehicle idling, with the doors locked.

“It was about 4:09 p.m. in the afternoon when the father wandered out of the mall with coffee in hand,” said Const. Andy Pattenden. “Sadly, the father didn’t seem to really express remorse for his actions and [wondered] why police were making a big deal out of it.”

Pattenden said by viewing mall security footage, investigators were able to confirm the man had left the child for more than 40 minutes

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The father is now facing two charges, one for leaving a child unattended, and the other for engaging in a prohibited activity on the premises.

“It is the law under the Child and Family Services Act that any child under the age of 10 who is left alone for any amount of time under any circumstances is considered at risk and a person can face charges as a result,” Const. Pattenden said.

When asked about the nature of the charge for engaging in a prohibited activity, Const. Pattenden explained the charge falls under the Trespass To Property Act.

“Vaughan Mills would have certain regulations as a result of where he was parked, in the expectant-mother spot. Obviously, he was not an expectant mother,” Const. Pattenden said.

After authorities assessed the child to be in good health, she was allowed to leave with her father. Police have notified the the Children’s Aid Society of the incident.

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