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Body cam video shows arrest of Instacart driver accused of leaving child in hot car

By Gail Paschall-Brown

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    LAKE COUNTY, Florida (WESH) — A Leesburg father has bonded out of jail. He’s accused of leaving his daughter in a hot car on Sunday while shopping at a local grocery store.

WESH 2 News obtained newly released police body-worn camera video of the arrest.

Keita Jones, 27, is charged with child neglect.

Tavares police say he left his daughter, whom Jones said is almost 2 years old, in a hot car for more than an hour.

A Tavares police officer approached Keith Jones saying, “Are you Mr. Jones?

“Yes,” Jones said.

“Is your white Versa outside?” an officer asked Jones.

“Yeah, my daughter’s in there,” Jones told the officer.

“Yeah, your daughter’s in there,” the officer said.

“I just brought her in,” Jones said.

“Not for almost an hour, dude,” the officer responded.

Jones was shopping in a Tavares Publix on Sunday.

A customer flagged down an employee after noticing the child was in the car in a rear-facing car seat with the windows slightly rolled down. The employee called 911.

The arrest report says the car was not running and the child was unattended.

Tavares police say the girl was sweating and officers were able to force the front passenger side window down to get inside.

“Can I see her?” Jones asked an officer.

“She’s being treated by EMS right now, bud. ‘Cause that’s what happens when a child gets left in a hot car. She was burning up labored breathing,” the officer said.

Jones said he was not inside the store long and was attempting to complete a second Instacart order.

He says he didn’t bring her inside because it was raining.

However, Tavares police say the temperature inside the car ranged from 100 to 105 degrees.

Lake County EMS treated the child on the scene.

Keita Jones was released on a $2,000 bond.

His next court date is July 10.

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