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They Left Kids in a Freezing Car to Do What?

A Washington, D.C., couple is facing cruelty charges after leaving their two toddlers in a parked car on an icy cold day.

This wasn't a quick run to drop a package at the Post Office. Rather, Capital Bay reporter Mike Decker said the two were at a wine-tasting.

A witness saw the two kids around 4:30 p.m. that day inside a locked Volvo parked near a restaurant in the city's Northwest side. Temperatures outside were around 28 degrees, below freezing, so the witness contacted police. Officers tracked down the parents inside of Ris, a tony cocktail bar and eatery featuring American traditional cuisine.

The Ris manager confirmed that the children's parents, 45-year old Jennie Chang and 41-year old Christophe Lucas, were inside at the tasting event. Police say the couple had been in the restaurant for an hour and surveillance indicates they didn't check on the children during that time.

However, the two had set up an iPhone in the car to monitor the 22-month-old boy and 2 1/2 year-old girl, were strapped in their car seats. Police said neither child had a hat or gloves and one had bare feet.

Time magazine reports that Lucas runs a software company and Chang works for the USDA.

The two were charged with second-degree cruelty to children, which carries the accusation that they mistreated a child or allegedly engaged in conduct causing "grave risk" of bodily injury. If convicted, Chang and Lucas could each face $10,000 in fines and/or 10 years in prison.

The toddlers were being held by Child Protective Services following the arrests.

Image via Drink Nation

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