Local News

Greenville toddler rescued from hot car; mother charged

Posted May 19

Ashley Caroline Garris

— A Greenville woman was arrested Friday afternoon after police had to pull a 2-year-old boy from a car left in the hot sun.

Ashley Caroline Garris, 21, was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Officers responded to the parking lot of Zoe’s Kitchen and Ulta Beauty, at 3120 Evans St., shortly after 1:45 p.m. and found several people trying to get into a parked car, where a child was in a car seat in the back.

Temperatures inside the car ranged from 104 to 116 degrees, police said.

Officer Elliot Gruhn was able to reach through a window that had been left cracked open and unlock the car, police said. He took the boy into the restaurant to cool him down, and Greenville Fire-rescue then took him to Vidant Medical Center to be checked out.

About a half hour later, Garris returned to the car. Police said she left her son in the car for about an hour as she shopped in Ulta.

Child Protective Services has barred Garris from having contact with the boy, who is expected to be OK, while the case is under investigation.


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  • Stacie Hagwood May 20, 8:33 a.m.
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    Just because teens can make babies doesn't mean they are capable of being parents.

  • Eric Rothman May 20, 6:32 a.m.
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    So they call that a misdemeanor! So nothing happens to the women, the child goes back to her, and we wait for something more serious! Ridiculous

  • Norman Lewis May 19, 11:18 p.m.
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    The best punishment would be to restrain the "mother" in the car for the same amount of time as the child, no water, no ventilation, and then take her to jail and be sure to tell all the other women there she had abused her child and threatened the child's life with her gross negligence. Sometimes the simple solution is the best. This is only the punishment I am willing to express publicly. My real thoughts cannot be disclosed as to how I would handle this person that mistreated the most precious creation any of us will ever come across. She would never make it to jail but would wish she was there.

  • Marie Brandsdorfer May 19, 10:29 p.m.
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    How stupid can you be to leave a kid in a car they should have put her in the car and locked her in hand cuffed see how she likes it!!!
    Stupidity at its finest.

  • Kiara Babel May 19, 7:06 p.m.
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    Jail is where she should be a going