NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens mother went into a mall to shop, but police ended up taking her out in handcuffs.

Investigators said she left her 2-year-old child alone in a cold car for at least an hour, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Sunday.

The mother was hysterical as police took her out of the mall at Bay Plaza in the Bronx in handcuffs, and took her young daughter into an ambulance for an evaluation.

The NYPD said a witness alerted mall security around 3 p.m. that the little girl was alone in a parked car. The temperature at the time was around 40 degrees. Officers and firefighters broke the windows to get her out.

Shoppers coming to the mall with kids were stunned.

“I don’t know what was going through her mind when she even thought that would be okay,” said Stephanie Price of Pelham.

“It’s unacceptable, can’t do that,” added Mirta Ramos of the Bronx. “I make sure he never leave the car by himself. I don’t even leave my dog alone in the car.”

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Police identified the mother as 35-year-old Mabel Cedeno of Queens. She’s now facing charges of reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child.

It’s unclear why she left the child alone in the car. In similar incidents recently, parents have said they simply forgot.

“I just don’t know how could someone forget they have a kid in the car,” said Raymond Calderon of the Fordham section of the borough.

Price, who had just finished shopping with her 1- and 7-year-old daughters, wondered, too.

“Your child is going to miss you and wonder where you are by themselves. That’s terrible,” Price said. “Anything could have happened. That baby could have died or somebody, someone could’ve tried to get the kid out or anything.”

The mother was taken to Jacobi Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation.


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