WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A father from Oklahoma was arrested in Wichita Falls after police said bystanders in a Walmart parking lot found his four young children locked in a hot car that had backed into another car after one of the children put the car in gear.
Jonathan Isaiah Oxley Kinsey, of McAlester, Oklahoma, faces four counts of abandoning or endangering a child with intent to return, a state jail felony offense. His bond was set at $10,000 per count, totaling $40,000.
According to the arrest affidavit, officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the Walmart located at 3130 Lawrence Road just before 1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 5, 2023, in reference to a minor accident.
When officers arrived at the scene, they observed several people standing around a Toyota 4Runner. The bystanders told officers that the car had rolled into another parked car, the engine had been running and the windows were rolled up with no air conditioner on.
The affidavit said officers reported four children were inside the vehicle. They said the children’s ages ranged from four months old to six years old. They said the children were sweating and had red faces.
Authorities said the bystanders told them they had been by the car for about 20 minutes before the father, later identified as Kinsey, came back to the car. Police said Kinsey was also by the car when officers arrived, but he said he had gone inside for groceries and was only gone for around 10 minutes.
According to the affidavit, the temperature outside at the time was 86 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity level was 42%, making the “real feel temperature” at the time 88 degrees.
Witnesses at the scene told police that the 6-year-old child was in the driver’s seat and had managed to put the car into reverse, causing it to back into another car that was parked in the Walmart parking lot.
Police said Kinsey was arrested and transported to the Wichita County Law Enforcement Center without incident.
According to Sgt. Charlie Eipper, WFPD’s Public Information Officer, the children do not appear to have received any medical attention at the scene.
Sgt. Eipper said a family member was called to pick up the children. He said the family member arrived and spoke with a case worker from Child Protective Services, who advised that the children would be taken to her office until they could be placed.
Sgt. Eipper said the children were not released to the family member who responded to the scene.
According to Sgt. Eipper, it is a misdemeanor offense to leave a child in a car for longer than 5 minutes knowing that the child is younger than 7 years of age and is not attended by another child who is 14 years of age or older.