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Letter: Parent of kids left in car made judgment error

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Riley Forbes


Recently, there was an article in the newspaper about a man who left his children in his car while he went into the Kroger supermarket. He was in the store for about 20 minutes while his children were in the car with the windows cracked and the sunroof open. Granted, the temperatures were hot, but they weren’t nearly as hot as the other two cases (May 26 and June 19) when it was midday and the temperature was at its hottest.

However, I do not want to criticize the article from Tuesday, July 1. I would just like to shed some light on what kind of man James Drechsel truly is.

The Drechsel family lives across from us on our street in a nice home. I baby-sit the four children and play with them outside. When we play indoors, their father, James, is always attentive to the children’s needs. He is very friendly and would never hurt or not care for his children on purpose. James is also very dedicated to his church and is very active with exercise.

James’ wife told my mother that on the night he went to the Kroger supermarket, he wasn’t planning on staying inside for the whole 20 minutes. His wife was sick, so he took all four children to the supermarket to grab some dinner. He returned to the car in about 10 minutes, but right when he got to the vehicle and was ready to leave, one of his children had to use the restroom. So, there he went back inside with two of the four to use the bathroom. When he returned to the car the second time, the police had shown up and were trying to get the other two children out.

The article said that the two kids inside the car were very upset and screaming when the police tried to get them out. It makes it seem like the children were screaming because it was so hot, but I don’t think that’s fully why they were distressed. How would you feel, at ages 7 and 2, if total strangers were trying to break into your car to “rescue” you? Personally, I would be terrified now, even as a 13-year-old.

Although James may have made a bad judgment call, he is not even close to the criminal the article made him seem like. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts on the Drechsel family.

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