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tommie
12-14-06, 09:25 AM
Police have arrested a mother who took her dog shopping inside a Scottsdale Fashion Square department store while leaving her sleeping toddler in her car with a valet.

Gardenia Zakrzewski Johansson, 39, who told police she is a Montessori schoolteacher, was arrested on suspicion of child neglect for leaving her 2-year-old son in the car to go buy a Christmas gift and pick up some cosmetics in Neiman Marcus, according to a police report released Tuesday.

The woman arrived about 3 p.m. Monday and asked valet Quest Wolfe to watch her 2002 BMW sedan, the report states.

Wolfe told police the woman mumbled something about a baby in the car, but said he initially assumed she was talking about a dog.

Fellow valet Tyler Gocken however, asked Zakrzewski Johansson if she said there was a baby in the car, and the woman responded: “Yes. Do you think it’s wrong?” the report states.

Gocken replied, “Yeah, I think it’s wrong.”

Zakrzewski Johansson then stated she would be quick, and told the valets “don’t tell anybody.”

That prompted Gocken to look inside the car, where he noticed through the dark-tinted windows the toddler sleeping in the backseat.

Wolfe, 29, told the Tribune Tuesday he has parked thousands of cars during his 4 1/2 years as a valet for the Epic Valet company, but the incident was like nothing he had ever seen.

Gocken, 24, told police he called his mother to ask her if she thought leaving the child inside the car was wrong. She told him that it was. She also told him to call security or police, which he did.

When police arrived at the parking garage, Gocken identified Zakrzewski Johansson as she exited the store with her dog and a shopping bag, according to the report.

The shopping trip took a half-hour, according to time estimates in the report.

As Zakrzewski Johansson was questioned by police, she asked an officer “if she was in trouble.”

The officer replied, “Yes.”

Zakrzewski Johansson could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The woman told police she asked a valet to “Please watch my son in the car” and that the valet had agreed.

Zakrzewski Johansson could not identify the valet except that he had “brown hair.” She said she planned to tip him for the service.

She told police she was going to pick up a Christmas gift, but it wasn’t gift-wrapped or ready to take home, which is why the trip took so long.

She later said she stopped by the cosmetics section to pick up eye makeup remover and ran into a friend and engaged in a brief conversation.

After she was arrested and handcuffed, she became uncooperative and at one point asked the officer to retrieve a Christmas present that was being gift-wrapped in the store, according to police.

The boy and the dog were turned over to Zakrzewski Johansson’s sister, who was contacted by police.

Zakrzewski Johansson was booked into the city jail, according to police.

Management at Neiman Marcus and mall owner Westcor declined to comment.

DONNIE D
12-14-06, 09:29 AM
Funny thing is, this is normal for the Phoenix Area.

Friscobear
12-14-06, 01:03 PM
Gocken, 24, told police he called his mother to ask her if she thought leaving the child inside the car was wrong. She told him that it was. She also told him to call security or police, which he did.
:lol: :lol:

He called his mom?!?