'Heavily intoxicated' mom left children in hot car at Bradenton home, deputies say

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Two children are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families after their mother allegedly left them in a hot car, Manatee County deputies said.

The sheriff's office was called to a home in Bradenton for a domestic disturbance Tuesday. When they got there, they said 35-year-old Andrea Cole was intoxicated and had locked herself inside her house. Deputies said she left her children, a 3-week-old and a 2-year-old, in her car with a window down.

"It was sitting in the driveway, but it wasn’t in a shaded area. It was in direct sunlight," Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Randy Warren said of the car where the children were found. "The 3-week-old baby was somewhat unresponsive. Deputies began resuscitating her and she immediately started crying. The 2-year-old boy was crying.” 

Deputies said the temperature outside was 93 degrees. Inside the car, they said it was closer to 108.

Investigators believe they were inside the car for about half an hour.

Deputies say Cole came out of the home with her fists closed, and threatening to fight them. At one point, they said Cole “squared off her body…in an aggressive manner with [a] closed fist and stated she was going to fight them.” Deputies said she began to walk toward them with a closed fist. 
Cole was placed in handcuffs, but continued to be verbally aggressive, deputies said. 

“This lady was quite intoxicated, we don’t know how much she was aware of what was going on,” Warren said.

Inside her car deputies say they found pills, empty alcohol bottles, and dirty diapers.

One deputy went into the home to retrieve diapers and baby formula and found trash scattered throughout the floors. The deputy also observed trash and soiled diapers on the couch and “every available tabletop,” according to Cole’s arrest affidavit. There were also empty liquor bottles and soda cans through the home and floors. 

The deputy said there was no edible food for the infant or 2-year-old. There were numerous bites and sores on both children, along with a large mark on the infant’s neck, possibly from the car seat strap. Both children appeared to be OK during their medical evaluation. 

Cole was arrested for child neglect and resisting an arrest. She was given a bond of $9,000. If Cole bonds out, she will be on a supervised release and it will be up to DCF if she gets to see her kids.

She is due back in court on Aug. 23.