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Parents arraigned in 2 cases of kids left in cars

From left to right: Donald Hayes and Sarah

From left to right: Donald Hayes and Sarah Hayes, both of Patchogue, and Marcela Monaco, of Bayville, were arrested after police found children unattended in their cars while shopping. Credit: SCPD

Three parents who left children unattended in cars to go shopping in Suffolk were arraigned Monday in two separate cases of child endangerment, authorities said.

Donald Hayes, 33, and Sarah Hayes, 34, both of Patchogue, were arrested Sunday night after Suffolk police said they left three small children in a Hyundai at the Gateway Plaza mall off Sunrise Highway in Patchogue while they shopped at Marshalls for about an hour.

Officers were called about 6:25 p.m. when someone saw the children -- a 6-month-old boy, a 5-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, crying in a car that was unlocked and running, police said. The outside temperature was 31 degrees at the time, police said.

In court, the mother told reporters she was gone 15 minutes at the most.

"There's cameras in that mall that you will be able to see when I was there, when I walked in and when I came out -- a 15-minute span at most," she said.

The couple, of Terrace Lane, each was arraigned on three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Donald Hayes was released after posting $1,000 cash bail, and Sarah Hayes was released on her own recognizance.

Temporary orders of protection were issued against the parents, warning them to avoid verbal and physical abuse of their children as the case goes through court, according to the Suffolk district attorney's office.

Donald Hayes could not be reached.

In the second case, Marcela Monaco, 39, of Shore Avenue in Bayville, was charged Sunday with endangering the welfare of a child after police said she left her 4-year-old son and a dog unattended in an unheated Toyota as she shopped in downtown Huntington.

Witnesses said the boy had been in the car for about 20 minutes before officers arrived shortly after 3:10 p.m., police said.

The car, parked at the Wild By Nature grocery store, was locked and not running while the temperature outside was about 37 degrees, police said.

Monaco declined to comment Monday.

She was released on her own recognizance and a temporary order of protection warned her to refrain from verbally and physically abusing her son, the district attorney's office said. Police said the boy was released to a relative.

In both cases, authorities notified the Suffolk County Department of Social Services' child protective services bureau.

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