Shoppers Use Sledgehammer To Rescue Infant From Hot Car In Parking Lot

Image courtesy of thoth1618

When there’s a baby locked in a hot car, there’s only one option: get that kid out of there, no matter what it takes. In the case of a four-month-old who had been left in a hot vehicle in a shopping center parking lot, that meant two passers-by using a sledgehammer to break the car’s windows.

A 53-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were both in the parking lot of a New Jersey Kohl’s store when the man said he heard a baby cry out just before 1 p.m., and saw an infant strapped into the seat inside a car, reports the Asbury Park Press. According to police, the windows were closed, the car was off, and the outside temperature was in the upper 80s. Temperatures in the car were likely much higher than that.

“It was a little baby wrapped up in a woolen blanket — crying, sweating, eyes rolling in the back of her head,” said the man, who is a retired police officer.

He and the other woman asked other passers-by if they had a tire iron or something to break the windows, when he suddenly remembered he had a sledgehammer in his car from pounding tent stakes into the ground over the weekend. He smashed the window, pulled the baby out, took off her sweaty clothes, and brought her into the air conditioning in the store.

“The baby appeared to be in a great deal of distress — screaming, crying, bright red and sweating profusely,” a police sergeant told the Park Press. “The baby was fully clothed with a blanket partially covering her.”

Police arrived on the scene, and the baby was turned over to her father. The child’s mother came out of the store with two other children about 20 minutes later, asking where her baby was. She was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, after police said she left the baby in her car for almost 40 minutes.

“That baby would have been dead,” the retired police officer said. “If we didn’t do what we did, that mom would have driven home not knowing if the baby was sleeping or dead.”

Jackson man rescues baby locked in hot car [Asbury Park Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.