47ºF

Father arrested after 5 children left in van outside Walmart for over an hour

Arrest repot: Vehicle was very stuffy, all the children appeared uncomfortable

Nassau County Sheriff's Office booking photo of David Kuruvilla

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A father was arrested Tuesday evening after he left five children in a van for over an hour while he shopped inside a Walmart store, the Nassau County Sheriff's Office said.

David Kuruvilla, 43, of Pennsylvania, is charged with five counts of child neglect.

According an arrest report, a deputy was called about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday to the Walmart on State Road 200 near Yulee after a caller reported there was a baby crying in a vehicle with another child. The caller said the windows were fogged up and only a small window was cracked.

The report shows the deputy noticed there were five children, one of whom was a baby, in the vehicle, which was not running, and four of the children were screaming and crying while a fifth child was sleeping. The deputy also said the windows of the vehicle were fogged over.

When the deputy entered the van, according to the report, it was so hot it made the deputy gasp for air. The deputy noted the vehicle was very stuffy and all the children appeared to be uncomfortable, but they did not need medical attention. 

The oldest child told police he was left in charge of his siblings but fell asleep while their father was in the store shopping for groceries.

When Kuruvilla returned, according to the report, he said his oldest son was very responsible and he left him in charge while he went inside the store. 

According to the report, an employee with Walmart loss prevention said Kuruvilla entered the parking lot at 9:45 p.m., went into the store at 9:48 p.m. and shopped in the store for the next 65 minutes.

The report shows Kuruvilla said he lost track of time while shopping. His wife, who was at a nearby laundromat, told the deputy she had no idea the children had been left in the vehicle and that they were in Florida on vacation. The Sheriff's Office said the mother took the children and Kuruvilla was arrested.

He was booked about 2 a.m. Wednesday into the Nassau County jail, where he remained as of Wednesday afternoon, according to online jail records.