Mother And Father Charged With Abandoning Toddlers In Car While Wine Tasting In D.C.

A couple who left their two toddlers alone in a car on a Northwest Washington street while they attended a wine-tasting at an upscale restaurant was monitoring them with a cellphone left in the vehicle, law enforcement officials said Monday.

Police said the children — a 22-month-old boy and a slightly older girl — were strapped in car seats and wearing coats when they were found Saturday afternoon near the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in the 1100 block of 23rd Street NW. Neither child had gloves or a hat, police said, and the younger one did not have shoes or socks. The girl was “hysterically crying,” according to a police report.

The temperature was 35 degrees, and police said the doors were locked and the windows were rolled up. Police said the father and mother were at the restaurant Ris, about 400 feet around the corner, in the 2200 block of L Street. The father, Christopher Daniel Lucas, who also goes by Christophe, told police that he left an iPhone in the car with an open connection to the children’s mother, Jennie Teresa Chang. The restaurant’s manager told police that the couple was at a wine tasting for about an hour, according to a police report.

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