Charges could be dropped after baby left alone in hot car

Good Samaritan broke car window with baseball bat to rescue baby

Booking photo of Zoya Thomas
Booking photo of Zoya Thomas

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A mother arrested after police said she left her 2-month-old baby girl alone in a hot car last month might have her charges dropped.

Zoya Thomas, 30, was charged with child neglect.

Police said she left her daughter in a hot car in a Lowe's parking lot and that the child was rescued by a bystander who broke a window with a baseball bat and rushed the child inside the store to cool her down.

Police said it was 85 degrees when Thomas parked in the middle of the lot on Atlantic Boulevard in direct sunlight and went inside the store, leaving her sleeping daughter alone with the car turned off and the windows barely cracked. She told police “she did not want to disturb her sleep.”

While she was in the store, a man walking by noticed people standing around Thomas' Chevy Malibu looking through the closed windows, police said. He told police that he looked inside and saw the infant sweating profusely. He said she was screaming, crying and appeared to be in distress, so he broke the front right passenger window with a bat so he could get her out.

The man told police the child was covered in sweat, so he ran her into the store to cool her down and waited for police to arrive.

The State Attorney's Office referred Thomas' case to the Kids in Distress pretrial diversion program, which means if Thomas follows the guidelines set out for her, the charge will be dropped.