Suspect arrested after leaving infant unattended in car at West Town Mall

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Jeremy Gaines (Photo: KCSO)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A woman who was walking back to her car after shopping at West Town Mall on Tuesday noticed a red Nissan in the parking lot with the engine still running and when she peered inside, she saw in the backseat an infant baby alone in a car seat, so she called the police.

When responding officers arrived, they saw the infant asleep in the car seat and around 10 minutes later, a man, identified as suspect Jeremy Gaines, walked up to the vehicle and told officers he had gone into the mall to grab food.

A police report states officers noticed Gaines was “profusely sweating as well as having body shakes.” Gaines admitted to being an alcoholic who was going through withdrawals. Gaines was taken into custody for child neglect.

Officers reviewed parking lot security camera footage and identified Gaines and saw he had left the child in the car for around 30 minutes.

The mother of the infant soon arrived to the scene and took the child. Gaines is facing child abuse/neglect/endangerment charges.

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