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Police: Woman Arrested After Leaving Disabled Men in a Hot Van

A woman was arrested after she left four mentally challenged men in a car in Walmart's parking lot in 99-degree weather, police say.

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.

Police report information is provided by the  and other law enforcement agencies. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

SuiteGypsywoman7 July 01, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Good thing someone noticed and stepped in or those poor people could of died. Thank the Lord for small blessings
Diane Lohrbach July 03, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Yes ,One of them is my brother, The place where he lives, and goes to school BLUE CAP. They left a message on my answering machine Friday night, saying a report of neglect has been filed, I haven't heard anything from anyone since . Nice .Right!!!
Caregiver July 06, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Being as she has been a caregiver for over 20 years she should know that she cannot leave clients in a van like that. I know if I had to sit in a van for longer than 5 minutes I would be dying. She was not thinking about these clients she was thinking about herself and the energy it would probably take to get them out of the van and into Walmart.

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