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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 adolasinskitribweb.com.

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