3 arrested after infant, dog found in vehicle

Kenner police arrested three women Thursday accused of leaving a 10-month-old infant alone in a car while they shopped, police said Sunday.

A witness flagged down an off-duty Kenner police officer working a security detail at Wal-Mart, 300 West Esplanade Ave., on Thursday night after hearing a child crying inside a locked vehicle, New Orleans police said.

The officer found a 10-month-old child and a dog left unattended in the vehicle with the window partially open.

Officers found the infant’s mother, Quija Hawkins, 18, the grandmother Lisa Hawkins, 38, and the infant’s aunt Troynisha Hawkins, 17, inside the store.

The three told officers the infant was sleeping inside the car in a child safety seat, so they locked the car and left the child inside with their dog for about 15 to 30 minutes.

Surveillance camera footage showed the Hawkinses were inside the store for more than 45 minutes before they returned to the car, according to police.

The Hawkinses, all of 6320 Riverside Drive, Apt. 219, Metairie, were each arrested and booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on one count each of child desertion, police said.

A second grandmother came and took custody of the baby, and the Kenner Humane Department took custody of the dog, police said.