Man Accused Of Abandoning Baby In A Car
Good Samaritan may have saved the baby's life, according to police
A Mentor man is accused of leaving a baby alone in a car.
Fortunately, a good Samaritan saw the child and may have saved her life, according to police.
At about 6 p.m. Friday, a man noticed an unattended baby in the parking lot behind East Coast Custard and called police, Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said.
While waiting for the police to arrive, the man -- whose name was not released to the media -- also opened the cars' unlocked doors and rolled down the windows because the baby looked distressed.
He and some employees from the ice cream shoppe also got the 1-year-old girl some ice water and paper towels because she was sweating heavily.
In fact, when police arrived, they took the baby out of the car and her seat was soaked with sweat, Zbiegien said.
Paramedics took the child to Lake West Medical Center in Willoughby where the infant has made a full recovery, Zbiegien said.
"This could have been really bad," Zbiegien said. "Thank goodness another person got involved and did the right thing or it could have been a lot worse."
Police checked the license plate of the car, which was registered to the baby's mother who was working elsewhere.
One of the East Coast employees told police that she saw a man by the van earlier who then walked to the apartment complex next door.
The mom also lived in the same apartment complex, so police checked on her apartment and found 27-year-old Kevin Payerchin there.
Payerchin's speech was slurred, his eyes were glossy and he was watching another 2-year-old girl play on the balcony, Zbiegien said.
When asked about the baby, Payerchin told the police she was with her mother.
Payerchin then admitted that he had some medication, vodka and beer that day.
Payerchin told police that he thought he had parked the car outside the apartment complex but when he couldn't find it, he assumed the child's mother had taken it.
Later, the East Coast employee confirmed that Payerchin was the man she saw by the car.
Police arrested Payerchin and charged him with child endangerment. He is scheduled to have his initial court appearance Tuesday in Mentor Municipal Court.
Both the baby and her 2-year-old sister have been given to their grandparents while Lake County Job and Family Services investigates the situation, Zbiegien said.
Correction: I initially misidentified the suspect's first name. It has since been corrected.