published Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Calhoun man charged with cruelty to children after toddler found in car

A Calhoun, Ga., man was arrested Wednesday after his 14-month-old grandchild was found unattended inside a locked vehicle, police said.

Calhoun Police Department Chief Garry Moss in a news release that officers arrested 48-year-old Franco Ralec and charged him with one count of second-degree cruelty to children.

The arrest came after officers were called to Forest Heights Drive and discovered a 14-month-old toddler had been left unattended inside a locked vehicle.

Officers unlocked the vehicle and discovered the infant sitting in its own feces crying uncontrollably, according to police. They located the child’s grandfather, identified as Ralec, who told them he had left the child in the vehicle while he was visiting a friend who lived at Forrest Heights.

Ralec told police the child was alone in the vehicle for only a few minutes, but due to the child’s appearance and behavior officers believe the child may have been in the vehicle alone for more than half an hour, according to the news release.

“It appears Mr. Ralec felt the child would be OK due to it being asleep when he left the vehicle, however, if not for the actions of a concerned citizen, this could have quickly turned into a dire situation for this child,” Lt. Tony Pyle said.

Ralec remains in the Gordon County Jail with a bond hearing pending, police said.

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