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W-B Twp. Mom Charged For Leaving Kids Alone In Car

July 31, 2018

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — A township mother is facing child endangerment charges alleging she left three of her children alone in a car in a Walmart parking lot for about a half hour.

Jenisha Belen Escalara-Feliciano, 28, of 777 Metcalf St., is accused of endangering the children — ages 9, 2 and 2 months — when she went shopping and left the kids unattended.

According to the complaint, police were dispatched to the Walmart Supercenter at the Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace around 12:40 p.m. June 27 to a report of unattended children left in a car.

A witness told police she had seen two children and an infant alone in a maroon Kia Sorrento parked that was parked in the lot, but that the children got out and went inside the store prior to police arriving.

When Escalara-Feliciano came out of the store accompanied by four children, she admitted to leaving three of them in the vehicle briefly, police said. 

“I was only in the store for a few minutes. I didn’t want to disturb them,” the complaint quotes Escalara-Feliciano as saying. “I left the keys in the ignition but the vehicle was off.”

The children left in the car were 9 years old, 2 years old and 2 months old, according to police. Escalara-Feliciano’s 8-year-old child went into the store with her, police said.

The complaint says that the temperature that day was 70 degrees and there were “very few clouds.”

Surveillance footage showed that the children were left unsupervised for about 30 minutes before they got out and went to find their mother in the store, with the 9-year-old carrying the baby in an “unknowingly hazardous manner,” according to police.

Police charged Escalara-Feliciano with two felony counts of child endangerment, a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child and two summary counts of leaving a child unattended.

Magisterial District Judge Michael G. Dotzel arraigned Escalara-Feliciano on Tuesday afternoon and released her on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 9.

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