Morning Poll: Are Charges Really Necessary in Case of Boy With Down Syndrome Left in Hot Van?

Categories: Morning Poll

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County prosecutors will be reviewing Wednesday's case of a boy left in a hot van for more than an hour. It's your time to beat them to the punch -- would you charge staff members of a school for intellectually disabled kids?

Everyone's so busy these days -- it's easy to lose track of kids. And they're so small.

In this situation, a driver and aide affiliated with Quest Alliance of Phoenix picked up several people on Wednesday including a 6-year-old boy with Down Syndrome. They arrived back at Quest Alliance, 7602 West Indian School Road, just after 2 p.m., cops say. About an hour and 15 minutes later, the boy's mom arrived for pick-up. The staff didn't know where the kid was.


They found him a few minutes later still buckled into the seat of the van, which was in the parking lot with its windows rolled up. The outside temperature was about 100 degrees, a relatively cool day for August, but you know how it gets inside vehicles. Red-faced and lethargic, the boy was taken to a hospital and treated for dehydration. Authorities say he'll be fine. His outraged mom is considering a civil lawsuit.

Turns out that Quest Alliance has been in trouble before. In 2007, a boy with autism walked away from another facility run by the company and drowned in a canal. The company's license was revoked, then reinstated.

Police agree that Quest Alliance staff didn't mean to leave the 6-year-old in the van.

Here's your morning poll:






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10 comments
Russ
Russ

This was a horrible mistake, not a criminal act.  The caretakers at Quest are wonderful loving people doing a very tough job.  They make minimum wage, and Quest the company is losing money trying to  care for kids for 9-12 hours on a state subsidy that was cut in half last year.  The caretakers at Quest hug the kids, play with them, and do everything they can to make life better for some very, very disadvantaged kids.  Give them a break, and blame the state and the economy for forcing cutbacks to the point that the safety and well-being of the children is placed in jeapordy.

Mistalee
Mistalee

I won't vote on this one.

Police are investigating, but don't believe the driver had any ill intent according to the article. Until more facts emerge, we don't know whether the driver was unusually distracted or what caused him to forget about the child in the van.

If it was a mistake, even a stupid one, there is no basis for criminal charges. There may be a basis for civil charges, but that is not the subject of the poll. 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

If convicted, they would be appropriate for tent city with the start of their sentence deferred until next June.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

The school accepts responsibility for the child while in their CARE and custody. Had this been a busy mom or dad who forgot the child and left him/her in the car parked outside I would imagine criminal charges of neglect.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Maybe they can raise a "Stupidity" defense. There is too much "Stupidity" causing harm or death to children and people don't seem to be learning not to be stupid. In cases where it leads to harm to a child, stupidity should be treated as a crime. We have the criminally insane, why not the criminally stupid?

Anon
Anon

The Hooters working mom who left her child in the car to die, got off the hook. How did this happen?

Mistalee
Mistalee

True. But if you start criminalizing stupidity, you'll need to build a lot more prisons. 

Wake up people!
Wake up people!

That's what they're busy doing right now while the people are distracted.  Private prisons proposed for many small desert towns, turning Arizona into a "prison state".

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