As temperatures peaked near 100 degrees Thursday, an Elgin woman left four mentally challenged adults inside a van in a Walmart parking lot for more than 30 minutes while she went in to shop for a grill and some charcoal, police said.
arrested Kathy L. Reed, 47, of Elgin and charged her with felony criminal neglect of a person with a disability on June 28.
At the time of the incident, the temperature had reached 99 degrees with a 111-degree heat index.
According to reports, Evergreen Park Police arrived at for a well-being check of four mentally challenged men, ranging in age from 40 to 60 years old, sitting inside of a vehicle.
"They were severely sweating and unable to communicate with the responding officer,” police said.
According to Sgt. Jack McCarthy, a concerned citizen saw the men in the van, and after returning to his vehicle 20 minutes later, noticed they were still there. The man told Walmart security. The van had no air conditioning, and Reed left the windows halfway open, police said.
Walmart employees paged the owner in the store and took water to the vehicle for the passengers as police tried to find Reed.
Video surveillance showed that Reed drove in the parking lot at 3:42 p.m. and returned to the car at 4:19 p.m.
Reed was the caretaker of the four men, who were residents of the Greenwood Home, located in Blue Island.
On Friday, Judge Terence B. Smith, of the 5th Municipal District Courthouse in Bridgeview, set Reed’s bail at $20,000. She will return to court on July 18.
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