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Parents charged with leaving toddlers in truck in sub-freezing temps

Two parents were arrested after their two toddlers were found alone in the cab of an unheated truck at midday Friday behind the Rath Building in downtown Buffalo, Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reported.

Deputy Richard Lundberg was on patrol around the Rath Building at about noon when a concerned citizen reported seeing the children in the truck. It was about 16 degrees in Buffalo at that time, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Lundberg located the vehicle, saw the children inside and had called for a roadside service company to unlock the truck when the parents arrived.

The children were taken into the Rath Building to warm them up, and sheriff’s dispatchers contacted EMT crews to evaluate the children. Child Protective Services took custody of the children.

Deputies placed Chaonte Townsend and Jovaun Campfield, both 22 and of Buffalo, into custody.

Deputies began inventorying the contents of the vehicle and discovered what was believed to be marijuana in the truck within reach of the children. The marijuana was turned over to the Central Police Services lab for testing.

Townsend was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Authorities discovered that Campfield was in violation of an order of protection. Campfield was arrested and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, violating an order of protection, unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

Both were transported to the Erie County Holding Center pending their arraignment.