Man charged with leaving child in hot car in Chipley

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CHIPLEY, Fla. -- (WTVY) A Malone man was arrested and now faces child abuse charges after leaving a child in a hot car unattended.

Just after noon, yesterday, Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a concerned citizen who alleged a young child had been left unattended in a car while the driver, later identified as 20-year-old Dillon Roberts, entered the Hardee’s restaurant in Chipley.

As a deputy arrived at the location, Roberts and the child were both found to be inside the restaurant. The child’s face was red and his clothes were wet due to him sweating profusely.

The deputy questioned Roberts about the situation, at which time Roberts became angry and stated, “What’s the big deal? I cracked the window,” referring to the two back windows that were slightly opened.

“The outcome of leaving a child in a vehicle can be devastating,” says Sheriff Crews. “We are all aware of the recent news involving deaths caused by leaving children in hot vehicles, however, it can also result in injury or a kidnapping situation.”

During the investigation, it was apparent that with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees, Roberts intentionally left the child unattended in an extremely hot vehicle for approximately 20 to 30 minutes as he waited inside in the air-conditioning.

Based on the physical evidence and his statement provided on the scene, Roberts was arrested and transported to the Washington County Jail where he was charged with cruelty towards a child.

Sheriff Crews states, “I cannot express enough how grateful we are that calls were made by citizens who were concerned for the well-being of this child and we urge everyone to report any concerning or inappropriate behaviors involving children.”

If you have any knowledge of crimes being committed, or tips, please contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111. You may also contact us anonymously by calling 850-638-TIPS (8477) or by email at