Mother, uncle arraigned after child left in car in East Windsor

ENFIELD -- The mother and uncle of a 16-month-old child left inside a minivan in the East Windsor Walmart parking lot Monday, were arraigned in court Tuesday.

Gloria Sanchez-Cerritos, 25, of New Britain, and Juan Sanchez-Cerritos, 30, of New Britain were charged with six counts of risk of injury to a child, leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle and reckless endangerment in the 1st degree.

Police were called to the Walmart store on Prospect Hill Road in East Windsor around 6:30 p.m. Monday for a report of a child left in a vehicle with the windows up. Emergency crews found a 16-month-old baby girl in the vehicle secured in a car seat. Police discovered the doors were unlocked allowing them to take the child out who was asleep when they found her, but reportedly sweating profusely.

The child was taken to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for evaluation and the Department of Children and Families sent personnel to the hospital to investigate the incident. The outside temperature at the time was 81 degree, according to the police report. The child was evaluated and released from the hospital and is said to be doing okay.

The child’s mother, Gloria, reportedly told police she knew the child was in the car and that the child had just fallen asleep. The police report also shows that her boyfriend had just bought the minivan a few weeks ago and that she was not used to have the child with her in it. During the court hearing her defense attorney stated that Gloria is used to riding the bus and the taking her children with her on the bus.

Gloria’s defense attorney stated in court that she and her brother had gone to the Hartford Walmart first, looking for a new car seat, but they didn’t have it so they went to the East Windsor store.

It was also revealed in court that the child’s mother is originally from Mexico, that she came to the U.S. illegally eight years ago, and that she had been living in Connecticut for three years. The court stated she earned a High School Diploma while living in New York. They also stated ICE, the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement now has a detainer on her.

The judge found probable cause for her arrest, stating to her and her brother this situation could have been far worse had it not been for the concerned citizens who spotted the child in the car and called 911. The judge offered her a release on $1,000 bond or a 10 percent cash alternative under the conditions she follows DCF guidelines and returns to court September 5th.

Gloria has four children, ages 6, 3, 16 months and 3 months. The all live with her, her boyfriend, and her parents in New Britain.

The child's uncle, Juan Sanchez-Cerritos, was also arrested at the time of the incident is also from Mexico. He still lives there and was in Connecticut this week for a family visit. Court officials said he has a PhD in mathematics and that he has teaching job lined up in China.

The judge set Juan’s bond at $2,500, or a 10 percent cash alternative, which he met and was released from custody a short time later. He was ordered not to be left alone with the child involved in the incident.
Both are due back in Enfield superior court on Tuesday, September 5th.