FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- A Frederick woman has been charged with leaving her children in a car in a supermarket parking lot on a day when temperatures exceeded 90 degrees.
Court documents allege 42-year-old Fatimate Diallo left her four children, ages 12, 9, 3 and 2, alone in the car just before 4:30 p.m. on July 7. Diallo was charged Friday with two counts of leaving children under the age of 8 in an unattended vehicle while she was out of sight.
According to the documents, a woman pulled into the spot next to Diallo and entered the store around the same time.
The Frederick News-Post reports the woman called police 15 minutes later when she saw Diallo had not returned. Court documents say the woman told police the children were "sweating profusely and appeared to be in discomfort." The woman asked the children if they were OK, and the oldest said their mother would be returning shortly.
Court documents state Diallo left the children alone for roughly 30 minutes. Her attorney, Dino Flores, said they were alone for only 15 minutes. He also said the children had water.
Frederick Police Officer Ryan Forrest said the children opened the vehicle's doors for emergency responders. All of them were hot and sweaty and were being treated inside an ambulance at 4:54 p.m. That's when court documents say Diallo exited the store.
Diallo told Forrest that she left the vehicle's windows down but that her oldest child must have put them back up. Forrest asked her how the children would have been able to put up the electronic windows without the car's keys and she became angry, according to court documents.
Diallo's attorney says she is a native French speaker and language differences may have led to a misunderstanding over what she was trying to explain about the doors and windows.
Maryland law makes it a misdemeanor to leave children under age 8 alone in a locked vehicle.