PITTSBURGH (KDKA)– A New Brighton mother is facing criminal charges after police say she left her children, including an infant, unattended in the vehicle while she walked to get gas.
Police tell KDKA that a 911 caller reportedly spotted the child on the roof of the parked car along Rt 68/ Adams Street near New York Avenue.
“When the officers arrived they found a 9-year-old in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition windows down,” said Sgt. Dawn Shane, Rochester Borough Police Department.
Sgt. Shane said its a very busy route through town and the mother, Valerie Fullum, was not anywhere in sight. The officer spotted a baby sleeping in the backseat.
“A baby strapped in the backseat, probably about 6 months old,” said Sgt. Shane. “The mom did eventually show up and was irate that the police were there.”
The mother, Valerie Fullum, now faces child endangerment charges. Police said they spotted her walking back to the vehicle with a gas canister in hand and another small child en tow.
We first interviewed Fullum months ago after a judge dropped charges filed against her. She had been accused of taking another woman’s 12-year-old daughter to get birth control implanted in her arm.
With one legal situation behind her, Fullum’s ex-husband and the father to her children want to know “why?”
“Honestly I think it’s pure laziness,” said Bryan Fullum, Fullum’s ex-husband. “And actually thinking you can just do whatever you want. Not at the risk of my kids though.”
Sgt. Shane tells KDKA Fullum could have done any number of things to avoid these charges.
“Call the police and we would’ve sat with the kids in the vehicle. We could’ve gone and got gas for her. We could have transported her, but you cannot leave your kids unattended in an unlocked car with the key in the ignition.”
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller did talk to Fullum over the phone and she said she had asked an employee at Dairy Queen to keep an eye on her vehicle and children. That woman, however, told police that she did not agree to do so because she had a store to manage
KDKA also reached out to Fullum’s new attorney, Nicole Tesla, but did not hear back by news time.
Fullum’s next court date is November 14.