Mom ticketed after 1-year-old locked in hot car; police say it’s not an overreaction to a ‘dangerous situation’

Omaha World Herald – by Michael O’Connor and Emerson Clarridge

A toddler locked in a hot car.

Omaha police say it’s a potentially deadly circumstance, and one reason a local mother was ticketed Tuesday on suspicion of child abuse by neglect.

A gust of wind apparently slammed closed a sport utility vehicle’s doors, locking a nearly 2-year-old girl inside.

In vain, family members worked to free her before calling 911; the girl’s mother told the police officers when they arrived that the girl was trapped for about 15 minutes.

Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman, said the ticket was not an overreaction by the officer who responded to the 911 call.

“We make decisions in the moment with all the information we have available,’’ she said. “This can be a super dangerous situation. People die in these circumstances.”

The ticket prompted strong reaction on social media, with some people defending the mother.

“Seriously???,” one person wrote on Facebook. “This could happen to anyone.”

Police broke a window to get the girl and ticketed the child’s mother with the misdemeanor.

The case will be referred to the Omaha City Prosecutor’s Office, which will review it and decide whether charges will be filed.

Tierney said the police department thinks the child was actually in the car longer than 15 minutes, partly based on the temperature inside the car.

Firefighters measured the temperature inside the vehicle at 97 degrees a few minutes after the window was broken and the child was removed. The outside temperature was 93 degrees, according to a reading from a police cruiser.

Tierney said the incident shows the importance of responding quickly when a child gets locked in a car. If the parents can’t get a car open or break the window immediately, they should call 911, she said.

“Don’t be afraid to call 911 for help,” she said. “This could be a life or death situation.”

Rose White, a spokeswoman for AAA-The Auto Club Group, said an adult should break the window if necessary.

According to the mother, her daughter had been at a pool with her aunt. When they arrived back at their home near 36th Street and Olin Avenue about 3 p.m., the aunt turned off the SUV and put her keys inside the car. The girl was in a child seat in the back of the vehicle.

“When she exited from the car and opened the rear door, the wind pushed the doors closed and locked them,” an officer wrote of the account from the girl’s mother in the report.

Winds Tuesday afternoon were gusting to 40 mph in Omaha, according to the National Weather Service.

Before calling 911, the toddler’s mother, aunt and two other relatives tried to open the doors with a screwdriver and coat hanger. One of the adults also called a roadside service, and a representative said someone would be on the way to help in a half hour.

After attempts with a multi-purpose tool and screwdriver, a police officer used a hammer to break the SUV’s front passenger side window.

The toddler had a heart rate of 100 beats per minute and appeared to be warm to the paramedic who evaluated her, according to the report. She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released.

Dr. Chris Acker, emergency medicine physician with CHI Health, said he couldn’t talk about this specific case. But he said a heart rate of 100 beats per minute would be considered normal for a 2-year-old. The child was not treated at a CHI Health hospital.–year-old-locked-in-hot-car/article_7b7a94e0-517d-11e7-af81-bf2fe1538064.html

7 thoughts on “Mom ticketed after 1-year-old locked in hot car; police say it’s not an overreaction to a ‘dangerous situation’

  1. Another example of why to never call 911. Take care of whatever is happening yourself, so you don’t end up being the police’s victim.

  2. “Don’t be afraid to call 911 for help,” she said. “This could be a life or death situation.”

    Yeah, for the caller.

  3. DAMN COPS ARE SILLY FOOLS.. NEVER CALL A COP……………………………………………………….UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTAnces…………………………………………..

  4. How stupid can one be?
    Evidently pretty dam dum

    Never call 911 over this type of situation

    Glass breaks people
    And is easily replaced

    See , even an idiot below 60 IQ cop knows to just break the dam glass
    Stupid people stupid ticket
    Can’t fix stupid , so they deserve this

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