Woman left 7-year-old in hot car at South Carolina beach, police say

Crime

Destiny Leann Brogan (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Centrer)

GARDEN CITY, SC (WBTW)  – Police charged a woman with child abuse after they say she left a 7-year-old boy in a hot car at the beach in Garden City.

Destiny Leann Brogan, 25, of Conway, was charged with cruelty to children after an Horry County police officer saw a small child in the rear passenger seat of a car at Calhoun Drive Beach Access #14 on Wednesday. 

All of the car windows were closed, it was 1:32 p.m. and the outside ambient temperature was 75 degrees, the officer said. Both car doors were unlocked so the officer opened the rear driver’s door and “immediately noticed how hot it felt in the car.”

The boy seemed flushed and frightened, and was hesitant to speak, the officer said. The boy eventually told the officer Brogan was angry with him because he threw sand on another boy. He was spanked and put in the car, the boy told the officer. 

A witness, who had called police, told the officer he saw Brogan drag the boy up from the beach by his arm to the vehicle, according to the report. The witness said he observed Brogan open the rear driver’s door, spank the boy a few times on the buttocks, and grab him around his neck area, pushing him into the vehicle, the officer said. 

After a short time, Brogan walked up from the beach and asked what was going on. She told police she never put the boy in her vehicle, but she did spank him and told him to come down to the beach when he was ready, according to the report. Her story differed from the boy’s and the witness statement, the officer noted.

The call first came in at 1:21 p.m. and the officer arrived at 1:32 p.m. “The victim had been sitting in the subject’s vehicle for at least that amount of time, and in the direct sunlight, making the inside of the vehicle noticeably hot,” the officer wrote in the report.

The boy was checked and cleared through EMS. DSS took custody of the boy and turned him over to someone who showed up at the scene. That person was not identified.

Brogan remains in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center as of Thursday afternoon awaiting a pre-trial for bail. 

No further information is available at this time.

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