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.