A man faces a child neglect charge after leaving his 7-year-old son inside a car while he worked at a Regency furniture store, according to police.
A woman called authorities Sunday morning when she saw the child before she went into American Signature Furniture on Atlantic Boulevard, where Hamid Ahmad Nike Mohammad Ahmadzada, 49, was cleaning. A police report says the car windows were partially open.
The boy spoke limited English but told police his father, an Afghan immigrant, was inside the store. It was 88 degrees outside when he was found. Police said he was in the car for about 45 minutes. They said the car was partly in the shade, and all four windows were partially rolled down.
The store manager told police Ahmadzada works for the cleaning company that cleans the store. Video surveillance showed Ahmadzada cleaning carpets inside, according to the police report.
"Not so much that he was going to die of heat stroke in the car -- it's a young boy in a car alone in an empty parking lot for a long period of time," said the woman who found the boy. "To me, 45 minutes is a long period of time. A kid could get stolen in two minutes."
A translator indicated to authorities that Ahmadzada wanted an attorney, but it wasn't known whether he's hired one. He remained in jail Monday morning.
The store manager says the child could have waited in an air-conditioned break area.
Child safety experts say kids' body temperatures heat up three to five times faster than adults'. Last year, 44 children across the country died after being left in hot cars. So far this year, 17 kids have died.
Since May, there have been four similar incidents in northeast Florida.
The woman who called the non-emergency police number Sunday said the dispatcher was furious hearing about yet another incident.
"I think she was just so distraught hearing these stories over and over again with these parents leaving kids in the car," the woman said. "And it's not necessarily the heat, which has also been a huge factor, it's, don't leave your kid in a car for any length of time."