Charleston officer charged after leaving his two kids in locked car

A Charleston police officer is charged after court records said he left his two young children inside a locked car Sunday for 25 minutes, and the kids were sweating profusely when they were removed from the vehicle after a deputy knocked out a window.

Daniel Goffreda, 32, of Poca is charged with two counts of child neglect creating risk of injury after the kids, a 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy, were discovered strapped in child car seats in the backseat of a vehicle parked on a lot at Kroger on Big Tyler Road in the Cross Lanes area.

The Charleston Police Department confirmed the officer is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Deputies said Goffreda drove his kids to the store, rolled up all of the windows, shut the vehicle’s engine off, secured all four doors and then left the car. The officer was inside the store for about 25 minutes while the children were in the car.

When the deputy arrived at the scene, the temperature was about 84 degrees with 67 percent humidity. The complaint said the kids were sweating profusely and were still in their car seats. The officer attempted to communicate with the older child and shouted for him to open the car door, to which he mouthed what appeared to be “I don’t know how.”

Kanawha County Ambulance Authority personnel arrived at the scene, and the deputy knocked the front passenger window out. Medical staff immediately removed the kids from the vehicle and put them in the ambulance.

The complaint said the kids were dressed in T-shirts, shorts and tennis shoes. The older child’s clothing was wet to the touch from the sweat.

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