VAN NUYS (CBSLA) – A mother was arrested after her two young children were found locked in a hot car in Van Nuys Friday afternoon.

According to Los Angeles police, at around noon, passersby called 911 after discovering the children (a girl, 3, and a boy ,2) sitting in a locked car in the 14000 block of Friar Street amid 90-degree temperatures.

Before Los Angeles Fire Department crews arrived on scene, however, the mother returned and let children out of the vehicle.

But not before angry neighbors let her have it.

“Look at you! Your kids are all sweaty!” said one man.

The mom apologized to the angry crowd. “I’m sorry, but I’m really overwhelmed by all of you.”

(credit: Ricky Funez)

Paramedics evaluated the toddlers at the scene and determined they were okay, police said. It was unclear how long they were in the car.

The mother, 32-year-old Sannah Rahim, was booked on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment, police disclosed.

The children were initially placed into the custody of the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.

CBS2’s Joy Benedict spoke to Rick Funez who owns a boxing gym down the street from where the car was parked.

“And it was hot,” Funez says, “the car’s not on, no keys. And I see a kid with an ice pack going like this,” motioning as to put an ice pack on his cheek.

After he said both kids threw up from the heat, he called 911.

Rahim, meanwhile, was released from jail at 3 a.m. Saturday on $15,000 bail. Police did not confirm if the children  had been released back to their mother. The mother told Benedict the children were places with relatives and she is devoted to getting them back.

Benedict asked Rahim for a comment today. She admitted she made a mistake leaving the kids in the car.

She wrote, in part, “I love my children very much and despite my mistake, I am a very loving mother and I do all I can for my children.”

Rahim said she left the children in the car to pay a ticket around the block. While she was initially angry with the crowd, she is also contrite about that.

“I know that everyone was just concerned for the kids’ well-being,” she wrote.

Funez is glad he stepped up.

“Who knows what could have happened if nobody would have found those kids. One of them could have died, who knows,” he said.


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