Canyon Country woman charged with misdemeanor over child locked in car 

San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy
San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy
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A Canyon Country woman was arraigned Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment likely to produce great bodily injury after deputies reported finding her with a child in distress locked in a Nissan sedan outside Costco over the weekend. 

Alexus Jacobs, 27, of Canyon Country, was arrested around 3:45 p.m. in the parking lot of the retailer in the 18000 block of Via Princessa by patrol deputies, according to station officials. 

Witnesses reported to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station they were concerned about a child, who was approximately 2 years old, who appeared to be locked in the vehicle. The informants waited about 10 minutes before calling 911, hoping to find the child’s guardian, according to station officials. 

“All the doors and windows were closed and locked,” said Deputy Robert Jensen, spokesman for the SCV station.  

“The child appeared to be in distress from the heat and multiple informants had been with the car … with no parent or guardian in sight,” according to an email from Jensen. “SCV Station immediately dispatched a tow truck and EMS personnel to the scene with deputies responding first.” 

The patrol deputies who arrived were about to break the window when Jacobs, who was not the child’s parent, showed up and was arrested, according to a report of the incident. 

First responders who treated the child on the scene reported that the boy needed to be taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital for treatment of possible dehydration and heat exhaustion, noting the toddler’s shirt was soaked with sweat when he was taken into their custody. The child was ultimately released from the hospital to his mother.  

Deputies arrested Jacobs on suspicion of the felony charge in lieu of $100,000 bail; The L.A. County District Attorney’s office decided to file the misdemeanor charge. Custody records with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department indicate she’s still in custody at the women’s jail in Lynwood as of this story’s publication. 

The DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday on the status of the case or Jacob’s charges. 

Jacobs answered to one charge at her preliminary arraignment this week, and while the status of her plea was not immediately available from the D.A.’s office, she is due back in court July 19 in the matter, according to L.A. County Superior Court records available online.  

Station officials also confirmed Jacobs has an outstanding allegation she took another person’s vehicle without their consent, which is being charged as a vehicle code violation.  

Jacobs is due in court June 30 for that allegation, which stems from a Sept. 8, 2021, incident, according to Superior Court records. 

While the weather report for Sunday indicated the high was 77 degrees, a study from Stanford University School of Medicine indicates, “Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out. 

“There are cases of children dying on days as cool as 70 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Dr. Catherine McLaren, clinical instructor in emergency medicine and author of the 2005 study, in a news release. 

A study, published in Pediatrics, “showed that a car’s interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees within an hour, regardless of ambient temperature.” Cracking a window, a common tactic noted in the study, only delays the temperature increase by about five minutes. 

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