ShareThis Page

Woman accused of leaving child in car

| Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 4:48 p.m.

An Elizabeth woman must complete parenting classes after police say she left her six-month-old daughter alone in a car in June.

Charla Ann Ginardi, 31, of Schaffer Avenue, Elizabeth, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing with North Huntingdon District Judge Douglas Weimer on Wednesday.

The charges will be dismissed upon successful completion of parenting classes, her attorney said.

“It's hard for other parents to understand things like this simply happen,” Michael Pribanic, Ginardi's attorney, said. “That doesn't make them criminal.”

Police were summoned to the North Huntingdon Walmart on Mills Drive to investigate an infant left alone in a car on June 17. When police arrived, Ginardi was holding the infant who appeared to be “very sweaty and wet,” according to the affidavit.

Ginardi told investigators the driver's side window was cracked a little, according to court documents.

Through surveillance video, police determined Ginardi walked into the Walmart alone around 5:12 p.m. The video showed Ginardi walked back to the vehicle about 15 minutes later.

“She told the police when she ran into Walmart she was just going to pick up a couple items for the baby,” Pribanic said.

The quick trip in took longer than Ginardi anticipated and she forgot the infant was in the car, he said.

“She told police that she forgot the child was in the car,” Pribanic said. “While she was in the checkout line, she realized the child was in the car, dropped everything and went running and screaming.”

The infant was transported to UPMC East hospital in Monroeville as a precaution. Children and Youth Services from both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties were called, but released the infant to Ginardi that night.

“Mrs. Gindari will take parenting classes and when she successfully completes those, we will provide documentation to the District Attorney's office at which time those charges will be dismissed,” Pribanic said.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.