Man Accused of Leaving Three Kids in Hot Car Welcomed "Vacation" in Jail: Cops

David Andrew Shawfield blamed his arrest on his kids being thirsty after leaving them alone in a hot car at Publix, Pompano Beach police say

By Janie Campbell
|  Friday, Sep 30, 2011  |  Updated 10:30 AM EDT
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Cops say David Andrew Shawfield blamed his arrest on his children being thirsty, leaving them crying in the car.

Cops say David Andrew Shawfield blamed his arrest on his children being thirsty, leaving them crying in the car.

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A man charged with child neglect after leaving his three small children in a hot car asked a friend not to bail him out, saying he "could use a vacation" in jail, authorities say.

David Andrew Shawfield, 49, blamed his arrest on his children being thirsty, leaving them crying in the car, according to Pompano Beach police.

The incident unfolded Tuesday in a Publix parking lot at 411 South Cypress Road after a concerned passerby saw two little girls and a boy alone in the car without seatbelts or air conditioning, its doors left open.

A responding Pompano Beach police officer wrote in his report that Shawfield said he was only gone for 10 minutes to get the children something to drink and "the five-year-old was watching them."

The officer noted it was 87 degrees outside. None of the children were in car seats or booster seats, he wrote, and a small boy in the backseat was asleep with a seat belt "up around his throat."

"The suspect's eyes were bloodshot and his pupils were fixed," the officer reported. "His face was flushed and he was unstable on his feet. The suspect [told me he] was on spleeping pills and psych meds."

When a deputy was dispatched to come and pick up the kids, the officer wrote, "the driver became irate and walked over...and began to yell at the children, 'See? I'm going to jail because you wanted something to drink. I'm never going to get out. I hope you're happy.'"

"Don't bond me out! I never want to get out," Shawfield allegedly yelled at an unnamed friend or relative who arrived to collect the kids, causing the children to cry.

"That was only like the second time I have done this," the police report said Shawfield told the officer. "Oh, well. I could use a vacation."

Thursday, Shawfield appeared in bond court on three counts of child neglect without hard and three counts of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. 

He told the court he is the sole caretaker of his family as his girlfriend is sick.

"I've been advised your family is posting the bond as we speak," said Judge John Hurley. "The bond will remain as stands...Good luck."

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