Baby left in car, couple arrested

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LEWISTON — A Winthrop couple was arrested Friday for leaving their baby daughter in a pickup truck on Lisbon Street while they browsed a nearby head shop, police said.

A Maine State Police trooper arrested Lyndsey Hall, 18, and Scott Babineau, 20, when they returned to the truck roughly a half-hour after the officer arrived. They were charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said the 4-month-old had been left inside the pickup with the doors unlocked and a dog barking next to her.

Trooper Robert Burke was on his way to Central Maine Community College when he was flagged down by several people who pointed him to the pickup truck.

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“There was a very small infant in the back seat with what looked like a pit bull cross hovering over her,” Burke said. “When I opened the door, the dog started going crazy on me. We were very concerned about the child.”

A Lewiston police officer went to the scene to assist. The officers called for Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout who came from Greene. Strout arrived, but there was still no sign of the couple.

“Obviously, it’s dangerous to leave a child alone anywhere,” Burke said. “You never know what could happen.”

The truck was left in front of the district courthouse on one of the busiest sections of Lisbon Street.

After Strout arrived and began working to remove the dog from the truck, Hall returned to the truck.

“She seemed bewildered that I was even upset about this,” Trooper Burke said. “She didn’t understand why this was a big deal.”

Babineau came along a few minutes later. The couple said they had been shopping at a nearby store that sells incense, pipes and assorted paraphernalia.

Burke arrested Hall and Babineau and called for help from the Department of Health and Human Services. An agent was there within minutes and decided to take the child into custody.

Hall and Babineau remained at the Androscoggin County Jail on Friday night. Burke said the couple remained indignant as they were taken to jail, insisting that they were good parents.

“It’s disturbing that they left the child alone to fend for herself,” Burke said. “You’ve got to be a good parent 100 percent of the time.”

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