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East Elmhurst mom faces child endangerment charges: DA
An East Elmhurst mother allegedly left her daughter in a locked car while she shopped at a TJ Maxx in College Point.
By Gina Martinez

EAST ELMHURST — An East Elmhurst mother is facing up to a year in jail after allegedly leaving her 2-year-old daughter in a locked car Sunday with the windows up on a warm day, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Elvira Sadikaj, 46, was charged with child endangerment for allegedly leaving her daughter for 20 minutes while she shopped in a College Point mall.

The DA said that from 3:20 p.m. to 3:40 p.m., Sadikaj left her toddler inside her locked Honda CRV with the engine off and the windows all the way up in front of 136-03 20 Ave. Sadikaj went inside TJ Maxx while the young child was spotted by a witness inside the car, screaming and crying and covered in sweat. It was 67 degrees that afternoon.

Brown said the care and safety of one’s child should always be of the utmost importance.

“However, in this case the defendant’s desire to shop allegedly surpassed her instincts to keep her toddler out of harm’s way,” he said. “The mother’s ‘quick’ trip into a store could have ended tragically, but thankfully firefighters were there in time to rescue the toddler from the hot vehicle. The defendant now faces serious charges.”

Brown said the FDNY arrived at the scene, popped open the lock of the front door and removed the little girl from the vehicle. Five minutes later, Sadikaj returned to the vehicle and allegedly said, “I wasn’t gone for a long time.”

Sadikaj was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a complaint charging her with endangering the welfare of a child. She faces up to a year in jail if convicted and was ordered to return to court May 4.

Brown said now that the weather is warming up, this case should serve as a warning to parents and all care-givers.

“Children — as well as pets — left inside an automobile could result in a death,” he said. “Don’t do it. No trip is quick enough to risk the life of a loved one.”

— Gina Martinez

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