Caregiver accused of leaving man with special needs in hot car while she ran errands

GAITHERSBURG, Maryland — A Maryland woman is facing charges after authorities say she left her special needs patient in a hot van while she ran errands.

Shoppers at the Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, where this happened, were appalled to learn 26-year-old Afia Obour allegedly parked her transport van and went shopping — leaving her non-verbal handicapped male patient behind — windows up, doors shut. It was 88 degrees outside.

“That’s your job. That’s your responsibility,” a shopper said.

“Like you couldn’t take this person with you wherever you were going?” a shopper said.

One shopper called 911 after seeing the special needs man red-faced, unresponsive and sweating profusely. Paramedics took him to the hospital for heat exhaustion. His body temperature was 102 degrees.

“He could have died,” a nurse said. “If one of my caregivers did that, I would be fuming. That’s just unacceptable.”

Police believe Obour was in the mall for about an hour — grabbing dinner, cashing a check, using the bathroom — even visiting a salon.

She answered her door when WJLA stopped by, but she didn’t have much to say about the allegations against her.

Obour is now facing up to 15 years in prison.

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