Leaving Jersey City 6-year-old in SUV all night was a ‘mistake,’ sister says
JERSEY CITY — A child endangerment charge against a man accused of leaving a 6-year-old all night in an SUV should be dropped, according to the girl's older sister, who says the whole thing was a "mistake."
NJ.com reports 17-year-old Rawan Moustafa said her younger sister had exited the vehicle as the family returned around 1 a.m. from an outing together, but then got back inside without the rest of the family seeing.
A St Peter's University security guard found the girl inside the SUV, parked on Montgomery Street in front of the school's Gannon Hall just after 11 a.m. Sunday, June 16, according to Jersey City police spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione.
Zakaria Moustafa, 51, was charged in connection with the incident.
Wallace-Scalcione would not disclose his relationship to the girl, who was found to be in good health.
The same NJ.com report said that Moustafa was the girl's father, and that they are not allowed to see each other until his next court date, July 15.
Rawan Moustafa said to NJ.com that “It sounds crazy to even think that a father would discipline a child by locking them in a car while it’s hot outside.”
In a separate but similar story, the Lakewood mother of a 21-month-old girl authorities say was left inside a hot car in her driveway for more than two hours — and later died — has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
NBC New York cited unnamed police sources at the time who said the child seemed to have been left in the car because of a misunderstanding. A law enforcement source told NBC New York that the child's mother took her to daycare, but the toddler didn't want to go in — so she took the child home. But the source told NBC New York there was then a miscommunication about when the child's mother or father would take her inside.
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