Posted: Jul 23, 2012 8:56 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 10:50 PM
ORO VALLEY - A man from Oro Valley has been arrested and indicted. He's accused of leaving his toddler in a car, on a day when the temperature topped out at 103 degrees.
Ismail Koksal was arrested June 27. He's facing child abuse charges. Police say he knowingly left his child in the car.
Koksal is expected to enter a plea in court next week.
Police say the man left his two year old son in the car, not by accident, but on purpose while he went shopping.
A witness spotted the child alone, locked inside, windows rolled up, with no air conditioning and called 911.
It happened outside Kohl's department store, on North Oracle.
According to a police report, officers used a slim jim to rescue the boy, described as 'red and sweaty, but still moving around'.
"The temperature rises so quickly, it can cause death very fast, especially in children," said Lieutenant Kara Riley with Oro Valley Police.
Riley says the boy's father Ismail Koksal was paged, using the store's overhead speakers.
Ismail told detectives he'd only been in the store five minutes, to return something, when he heard the announcement.
Police say surveillance video shows, he'd been shopping twice as long, for 11 minutes.
"There was no rush to what he was doing inside the store, so that was concerning to us, " said Riley.
News 4 Tucson's Rebecca Taylor knocked on the family's door, to see how the boy is doing and was met by Ismail's wife.
Ulku Koksal said, "He's fine, but I don't want to be recorded."
She wouldn't comment further without her attorney.
The day of the incident paramedics treated the child at the scene and released him to his mother.
Ismail was arrested.
The report shows, both argued with police 'that there was no problem with the situation and Ismail stated that in his country it's okay to leave children in a vehicle'.
"It's a shame, really sad," says Janet Black, who lives in a neighboring apartment, "You don't leave your kid in a car, you don't even leave your pet in a car. It's like you hope someone is smart enough to realize it's twice as hot inside as it is outside."
As for the item Ismail was returning at Kohl's. According to the police report, it was a father's day gift.
Digging deeper, researchers who track hot car deaths in the United States report 15 so far this year.
Annually 73-percent of deaths since 1998 were children two years and under.
Heatstroke happens when core body temperature exceeds 104 degrees farenheit. Cell damage, organ failure and death occur after 107 degrees.
The temperature inside a closed car can jump 19 degrees in just 10 minutes, and 50 degrees within an hour.
By the way, Arizona has no law on the books specifically against leaving a child unattended in a vehicle, but Tucson has an ordinance passed in 2008 that calls for a thousand dollar fine or 24 hours worth of parenting classes.
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