Police: Man left toddler in unlocked car to workout

Detectives in Salisbury are searching for a man they say left a toddler inside a car for over an hour while working out at a local gym.

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Pumping iron could land a Salisbury man behind bars.

Police say 30-year-old Geoffrey Roberson went to Planet Fitness to work up a sweat and left a 20-month-old baby in his car for more than an hour.

"You don't do a child like that," said Michael "Bubba" Watkins, a member of Planet Fitness. 

Watkins says the gym is part of is daily routine, but nothing was routine about February 3.  He says he saw Roberson working out nearby and soon realized that Roberson had left more than a gym bag in his vehicle. 

"I do believe the vehicle was parked right behind me so that's a good distance," he said pointing to the rear of the gym's parking lot. "So somebody would have jumped into the vehicle he wouldn't have had a chance to run out and get him, so you don't do that."

Roberson is facing misdemeanor child abuse charges for the incident. Police say while he hit the weights, a 20-month-old baby was strapped in a car seat in his white Mercury Mountaineer.

Police say the windows were cracked and keys still in the ignition. Investigators say the child was left unattended for more than an hour until a gym member heard the baby crying and called for help. 

"That's horrendous, I  would hate to know that any parent could go in there and workout with their child in the car. Nothing in the world is worth that," said gym member Lisa Prevost.    

Roberson's mother says her son is the child's father. She tells NBC Charlotte the baby is currently in her care and doing fine. She also says the incident was an accident. 

However, Salisbury Police thinks it is more. There is now a warrant for Roberson's arrest.

"It just hurts that someone could do that, I'm a mother myself," said neighbor Paula Hampton. "Leave them with someone, his mom would've watched them."

Hampton says she hasn't seen Roberson near his North Church Street home. Police say they haven't either.  They are asking for the public's help to find him.

"Far as I know, he's on the road, a truck driver so he could be anywhere," Hampton said.

Roberson is also known as Keiyeen Mynx Hijin. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. Tips may be submitted online at tips.salisburyrowancrimestoppers.org.
 

Copyright 2017 WCNC


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