Grandfather accused of leaving child in cold car for hours at Arundel Mills

Diaz has been charged with neglecting his grandson. Photo: Anne Arundel County Police

(WJLA) - For the second time in a week, a person has been charged with child neglect at Arundel Mills Mall after a child was allegedly left alone in a cold car for several hours.

Juan Carlos Calva Diaz, a 47-year-old Columbia man, allegedly left his young grandson inside a minivan outside the Best Buy at Arundel Mills for several hours on Thursday evening.

The boy was uninjured, if not cold and hungry, and is now in the custody of his mother. Diaz was arrested and charged with confining an unattended child and neglecting a minor.

Anne Arundel County Police say that a witness noticed the 6-year-old boy inside a Chrysler minivan at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and when that same witness returned about 90 minutes later, the boy was still alone and unattended. That person then contacted authorities.

Responding officers were able to remove the boy from the cold car and keep him in a cruiser while Best Buy employees repeatedly paged both Diaz and the boy's mother. Both of them returned to the minivan at about 7:30 p.m., officials say.

Diaz and the boy's mother told officers that he had driven the boy to the mall to pick up his mother and that the boy was supposed to have stayed with the grandfather.

It was the second time in 48 hours that a person was arrested at Arundel Mills for leaving a child in a freezing car. Authorities arrested and charged 24-year-old Alicia Brown on Tuesday after she allegedly left her daughter in a car for 8 hours while she, according to police, went gambling at Maryland Live! Casino.

Brown was also charged with confining a child and neglect, along with second degree child abuse.