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September 20, 2016

South Jersey dad arrested after leaving kids in hot car to seek gym membership

A South Jersey father was arrested Monday after allegedly leaving his two children alone inside a hot car while he considered signing up for a gym membership.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Berkeley Township Police Department announced Tuesday that 28-year-old Yordy Santanacastillo, of Forked River, New Jersey, was charged with two counts of fourth-degree child abuse.

Authorities said that the incident occurred on Sept. 9 around 4:40 p.m. at the Retro Fitness located on Route 9 in Berkeley.

Witnesses told police that Santanacastillo left his 3-year-old and 1-year-old children unattended in the gym's parking lot for approximately 19 minutes. Santanacastillo turned the vehicle's ignition off as he went into the gym to inquire about a membership. The temperature exceeded 90 degrees at the time of the incident, authorities said.

Santanacastillo was arrested on Monday and later released on a summons until his next court appearance.