N.J. Police Officer Smashes Window To Save Child Trapped Inside Hot Minivan

If we’re going to hear stories of children being left in hot cars, we’re at least glad to report on those that end well. That includes the report of a New Jersey sheriff’s officer who bashed open a minivan window to free a child who was locked inside it as it sat parked at a Costco supermarket.

Witnesses said the crying two-year-old was drenched in sweat when a Bergen County police officer broke open one of the van’s windows, reports NBC News (warning: link has video that autoplays).

Passersby worried about the girl in the van parked in Costco’s parking lot had gathered on the scene, with at least two people attempting to push down a window that had been cracked open a few inches. In a video taped during the rescue, you can hear the child crying inside the car.

“I’m telling the girl, ‘Don’t cry, we’re gonna get you out,'” one of the men who tried to get into the van told NBC News. “She was drenched in sweat and crying constantly.”

Bystanders wondered if the parents were shopping, expressing disbelief that they would’ve left the toddler behind.

Moments after an officer carries the small girl in her arms away from the van, with her hair matted to her forehead with sweat, the toddler’s mother shows up with a shopping cart and another child.

“You left her in the car!” the officer holding the crying girl says. The mother apologizes, but the officer replies, “No ‘Sorry!’ She could have died!”

The child’s mother was arrested for child endangerment and released with a desk ticket. The little girl was taken to a local hospital and then turned over to her father, according to the sheriff’s office.

Though it’s unclear how long the girl was inside the van, temperatures can rise dangerously high in a matter of minutes. Remember: Leaving a child in a hot car for any length of time is unsafe, so please, please do not do it.

WATCH: Sweat-Soaked, Wailing Toddler Rescued from Hot Minivan in Costco Parking Lot [NBC News]

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