Deputies: Father arrested after leaving child in car while visiting nightclub

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SPRINGFIELD, Mich. — A father in southwest Michigan spent the Easter holiday in jail after deputies said he left his 1-year-old son inside a car while visiting the child's mother at a Heartbeats Exotic Nightclub early Saturday morning.

"Deputies were called to Heartbeats, which is a local bar here in Springfield, for an infant that was left unattended in a vehicle," said Lt. Dan Latta with the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office and Springfield Public Safety. "Some patrons at the bar had gone out in the parking lot to smoke a cigarette, and they could overhear a baby crying in the parking lot."

The men immediately began looking for the baby, Lt. Latta said, and found him locked inside a car. They waited five to 10 minutes for the parents to show up, but no one did. So they dialed 911.

When deputies arrived, they bumped into the father just outside the nightclub. He told them he was dropped by to see the baby's mother.

"He also explained that the mother was working inside the bar at the time, that he had stopped by to drop off some money for her," said Lt. Latta. "[He] decided that he was going to have some beer in the meantime."

Deputies arrested him that morning and questioned the mother, Lt. Latta said. She told them she didn't know that the baby was in the car. Because of the morning's mild temperatures, the baby was in good condition.

"The baby’s fine," said Lt. Latta. "The baby didn’t have any extenuating circumstances that would create a medical emergency or anything like that."

Monday, the father, identified in court at 32-year-old Joshua Edwards, was arraigned and charged with 4th degree child abuse for leaving his 1-year-old unattended in vehicle. Deputies believe he was left alone for 20 to 30 minutes.

"Who’s going to leave a child unattended anyway, especially an an infant in todays world?" said Lt. Latta. "Anything could happen to the child. Thank God there were some good Samaritans who did intervene and did the right thing."

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