CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) _ Investigators found a crying 6-year-old boy tied up in a sweltering car at a suburban restaurant after employees reported seeing a man take the child outside and return without him to finish eating.
Police believe the boy, whose name was not released, was tied up for about 30 minutes while the outside temperature was in the 80s Saturday in Ringgold, Ga., about 13 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Sgt. John Gass said Tuesday.
``He was sitting up in between the two front seats and he was crying,'' Gass said. ``He had a rope tied to one of his ankles. The child was just sweating, just soaking.''
The boy's mother, Rachel Gilchrist, 35, and her companion, Raymond Minchew, 61, both of Sandy Springs, Ga., were arrested Saturday and charged with cruelty to children and concealing a weapon. Police found a handgun in the car.
Gilchrist remained in custody Tuesday at the jail in Catoosa County, Ga. Minchew was released Monday on $5,000 bail.
The couple contended the boy had misbehaved, although witnesses at the Cracker Barrel restaurant disagreed, Gass said.
``It doesn't matter what the child did. No child needs to be taken out and put in a vehicle, left alone and put in the heat,'' Gass said.
He said the boy was placed in state protective custody.
``I am glad somebody called,'' Gass said. ``We don't know what else might be going on. I'm just glad the little man is not with them anymore.''
An employee at the restaurant said Tuesday that company policy did not allow staff members to comment.