3 children left in hot truck in Palatka

Child neglect charges filed against 26-year-old truck owner

By Francine Frazier - Senior web editor
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PALATKA, Fla. - Three children under the age of 7 were left unattended in a hot vehicle Thursday afternoon in Palatka.

Palatka police filed child neglect charges against the vehicle's owner, 26-year-old Matthew James Trim of Satsuma, with the Florida State Attorney's Office.

About 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Palatka Police Department received a report that three young children had been left inside an unattended black pickup truck in the parking lot of Lending Bear Pawn Shop on Reid Street.

Officer Ashton Cassidy responded and found the children, ages 6, 2 and 1, inside the truck, which was not running and the windows were down. Cassidy said the children all had red faces and were perspiring heavily but did not appear to need medical attention.

A few minutes after Cassidy arrived on the scene, Trim exited the business. He told Cassidy he had only been in the business for a few minutes and that the truck's air conditioning wasn't working.

Cassidy determined about 10 minutes has passed from the time the Palatka police received the report to the time Trim exited the business.

The outside temperature was approximately 95 degrees and the interior of the vehicle was much warmer, Cassidy said.

The State Attorney's Office will determine if Trim will be charged with a crime. The Department of Children and Families was also provided with a copy of Cassidy's report so that agency may conduct its own investigation.

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