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Man arrested for leaving 3 young kids in hot car
hot car arrest

A man was arrested in Lathrop on Friday after deputies discovered that he had left his three children – all of whom were under the age of 10 – inside of a vehicle without air conditioning for more than 25 minutes. 

The temperature at the time was above 100 degrees outside, and deputies who had responded could see the children inside “sweating profusely” and “tearful” as temperatures inside of the vehicle soared. 

Honglei Tong was arrested when he returned to the car and was transported to the San Joaquin County Jail where he was booked on charges of child endangerment. 

Tong is currently being held on $450,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear today at the Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:25 p.m. 

According to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, leaving children in hot cars is especially dangerous because their bodies heat up between three and five times faster than that of an adult, and an internal body temperature of 104 degrees can lead to stroke while internal body temperatures of 107 degrees is usually fatal. An average of 38 children die in hot car accidents in the United States every year. 

California law states that children under the age of 12 cannot be left alone in a vehicle without a parent present under any circumstances.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.