UPDATE: Readers have pointed to a new report about what went down in that parking lot, one that says that the mother had accidentally locked her kids in the car after bringing them into a postal store with her, then putting them in the car to leave. The shoppers were helping her free them, other witnesses reportedly said.
This is why news reports are taken as just that — reports — and not solid fact. Because while one guy filming from a distance might see a situation one way, others have another version, reports WFAA News.
Another video from inside the postal store reportedly shows the woman walking in with the kids, then playing around while she does her business and the three leave together. Witnesses say the kids were accidentally locked into the car with the keys, so she walks back to the store to seek help.
A customer inside then grabs a hammer and breaks the Jeep’s window, as the other video shows. After she slides through and grabs the kids. Police are not investigating the situation.
We’re relieved if this is the case, which it appears to be — not only because she didn’t do anything wrong on purpose, but also because it shows she’s aware that kids in a hot car is not a good situation, no matter how they ended up stuck in there.
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We just touched on one father’s effort to raise awareness about never leaving your children in a hot car, and it sounds like the message is coming across — at least to passersby if not parents. So when shoppers noticed a car sitting in the parking lot with the windows up on a hot day, they took action.
According to a news report from KHOU 11, shoppers in a parking lot in Katy, Texas yesterday afternoon noticed that a small boy and girl were inside a hot Jeep with the windows rolled up, on a day with temperatures above 90 degrees.
One shop owner in the strip center stepped outside when he heard the kids and shot video of the subsequent rescue.
“The kids were in there crying,” he said. “I mean you would understand. It’s real hot.”
He says one man even used a hammer to shatter the car’s windows, but even then it was hard to get the doors open because of the child lock.
The children were eventually freed, with no apparent harm done to them. But the mom — who reportedly said she had left the kids there “temporarily” so she could get a haircut — pleaded with onlookers and asked them not to call the police calling it a “terrible mistake,” so no one did.
Again, while it’s unclear how long those kids were sitting inside, it doesn’t matter. No time stuck in hot cars for kids is safe. None at all. And if you do, you’re lucky if the worst thing that happens is a couple of smashed windows.