Punxsutawney Woman Faces Endangering Welfare Charges for Allegedly Leaving Children Unattended in Vehicle

handcuffsPUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney woman is facing charges of endangering the welfare of children stemming from an incident that occurred on July 6 at WalMart in Punxsutawney.

According to court documents, Punxsutawney-based State Police filed criminal charges against 31-year-old Tina Marie Hadden, of Punxsutawney.

According to a criminal complaint, around 1:22 p.m. on July 6, Officer Steele, of PSP Punxsutawney, was dispatched to a check on the welfare call at Punxsutawney Wal-Mart parking lot. Upon arrival, Officer Steele met the known witness who directed him to a white Toyota Camry with two children inside the vehicle.

The complaint states that the witness said that she saw the two children in the car at approximately 12:42 p.m. when she went in to get groceries, and the car engine was running when she went into Wal-Mart. When the witness exited Wal-Mart around 1:00 p.m., the children were still in the vehicle, but the vehicle was off and the windows were up. The witness called PSP Punxsutawney and talked (a child inside the vehicle) into putting down the window until PSP’s arrival.

The complaint indicates that around 1:26 p.m., Tina Marie Hadden arrived at the vehicle. “(She) related that she just went into Wal-Mart for a few minutes.” When told that a witness saw her, and it was at least an hour that she was in Wal-Mart, she said that “she must have lost track of time and that she was back at electronics trying to figure out issues with her phone.”

WalMart video surveillance showed Tina Hadden leaving the vehicle at approximately 12:35 p.m., entering Wal-Mart, and returning to find PSP Punxsutawney at 1:26 p.m., according to the complaint.

Based on his investigation, Officer Steele filed a criminal complaint in Magisterial District Judge Douglas R. Chambers’s office.

Hadden was arraigned on July 6 at 4:30 p.m. before Judge Chambers on the following charges:

  • Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Misdemeanor 1 (two counts)
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2 (two counts)
  • Driving Without a License, Summary
  • Driving While Operating Privileges Suspended Or Revoked, Summary
  • Operating Vehicle Without Required Financial Responsibility, Summary

Bail was set at $20,000.00 unsecured.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on August 17 with Judge Chambers presiding.

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