Father accused of leaving child in hot car heads to court

Court gavel
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An Oxnard man who was arrested on suspicion of leaving his son in 90-degree weather while patronizing a business in the Santa Clarita Valley appeared in court for his arraignment on Tuesday, according to court documents.  

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Andy Cruces with the felony crime of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death.  

On Saturday, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to the 25600 block of The Old Road in Stevenson Ranch after reports of a young boy left in an unoccupied parked vehicle, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, spokeswoman for the station.  

Temperatures rose to approximately 99 degrees that day, according to the National Weather Service.  

A concerned citizen removed the boy from the vehicle and waited for law enforcement to arrive at the scene, added Arriaga. Upon arrival, deputies entered the Marshalls store and made an announcement for the vehicle owner to identify themselves. 

The suspect identified himself to deputies, and Cruces was arrested on suspicion of child cruelty. The child was later determined to be 5 years old, and he was transported to a nearby hospital for further medical evaluation.  

Sources familiar with the case said the boy was heard saying, “They left me in the car and it was hot.” 

Cruces’ arraignment was continued to Aug. 12 at the San Fernando Courthouse, at which time he is expected to enter his plea.  

He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. 

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