Man forgets baby in car at Metro station

March 24, 2006|BY A SUN REPORTER

Tasked with dropping his daughter off for child care on the way to work - something not typically part of his morning routine - Jonathan Sander parked his car in a garage at the Shady Grove Metro station yesterday and hurried to catch a train to Washington.

But police say he forgot something in his rush: his 7-month old daughter, strapped in her car seat.

At some point during his commute, the 33-year-old North Potomac man realized he had forgotten his daughter. He got off the inbound train and boarded one headed to Shady Grove.

When Sander returned to his Volkswagen Passat - believed to be less than an hour later - his daughter was fine. Commuters in the garage had spotted her alone and called police. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials were able to open the car and free the baby. Police say officials with Child Protective Services determined that Sander made a mistake and did not intentionally leave his daughter.

The baby was examined at Shady Grove Hospital and found to be in good condition, officials said. She was returned to her mother, they said.

Sander was given a criminal citation for leaving a child under age 8 unattended. The citation carries a penalty of up to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail.

"It is truly unfortunate that this man got sidetracked and forgot his kid was in the car," said Montgomery County Police Lt. Eric Burnett.

If it had been summer, the ending might not have been so happy, Burnett said.

While Sander will be held responsible for what happened, Burnett said, "you can imagine what he's going through."

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