Mom left kids alone in running car, couple says

Posted at 12:45 AM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 00:46:11-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- A 26-year-old woman faces two counts of child endangering after witnesses told police they found her kids alone in a car, running with its windows down, Monday night.

Kuthzie Jeanty, 26, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. Her children -- a 5-year-old boy and a 2-month-old girl -- weren't harmed, according to a police report.

Teri Wood and her husband, John, thought they heard the children outside a Dollar General store as they were leaving at about 7:30 p.m.

"I seen a little -- what looked like -- a 2- or 4-year old in the middle of the backseat," Teri Wood said. "Then I see the little carrier. I said, 'Oh no.' This is too young for these babies to be out here with a car running -- 'cause you know how kids are. They get out of their seats, anything could've happen. Or someone could've taken off with the car -- it was started, it was already started. All they had to do is get in and go."

John Wood, who drives a school bus for Miamisburg City Schools, said he felt compelled to act.

"I protect babies all day long and children," he said. "I try to make sure they're safe, and I was worried for their safety. I had no idea where this person was, so I decided to call 911."

Within a few minutes, the couple said, Jeanty had returned to the car and was furious.

"I told her the reason we called the cops was first off, you left your car running, second, you don't leave two little babies in there for someone to take them or anything," Teri Wood said.

According to the police report, Jeanty was screaming at the Woods so loudly that she didn't notice the officer pulling up with its lights on and sirens blaring. She told the officer she was going through treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and anger management issues. Jeanty also told the officer she'd run into the store for a few minutes, the report said.

Jeanty's son is staying with her friend who owns the car, according to the police report, and the baby girl is with her father's girlfriend.

"Never leave your kids by themselves," Teri Wood said. "I don't care how old they are — 10 or under, they shouldn't be left by themselves."