DALLAS, TX—Fighting back the tears, Nick Madison spoke out from behind bars at the Dallas County Jail to express remorse for what he calls a dangerous decision.
"I regret it, every second and every minute of it," said the 24-year old medical technician.
Madison and his fiancee', 22-year old Natasha Hamalian, are charged with four counts of endangering a child after police say they left their four young children in a hot SUV Sunday.
"I love my kids, everybody knows that."
Dallas police found the children inside the couple's car, while they were inside selling plasma at a facility. Madison says the air conditioning was set to full blast in the SUV and he says while his girlfriend was inside for about two hours, he spent all but about 15 minutes in the car with the kids.
"They weren't in the car alone for two hours, I would never leave my kids for that long."
But, police say the duration doesn't matter. Investigators say leaving children in a hot car in the blistering heat for any amount of time, is reckless even though it was not intentional. The couple is charged with a state jail felony and could face up to two years in jail.
While most bristle at the thought of leaving a child in a car during the summer heat, experts say some offenders aren't bad parents.
"It often isn't a bad parent. It is someone who got distracted," Children's Medical Center program director, Susan Jackson, said.
Jackson says that while leaving a child alone in a hot car is never excusable, it can happen to good parents who just don't understand the danger.
"The intent is not there. They don't mean to harm a child, it just happens."
Madison says he is heartbroken over seeing his family torn apart.
"I miss my babies so much."
Madison hopes the law may cut him a break, but he isn't counting on it. He is urging others not to make this life-changing mistake.
"Don't leave your kids alone, not for a second.