Children in cars ALONE!! (A true story)
I know that life can be crazy and moms can forget to bring their bank card or even a drivers license when they run out to tend errands and such. But one thing a parent (mom or dad or even Grand parents & aunts /uncles) should NEVER forget are their children. I am going to tell you a story now. It is 100% true. And this is what happened...
I was 18. I finished high school early March 31 the year I graduated. I only had to go back to the school in June for the ceremony and receipt of my diploma. I myself was 15 weeks or so pregnant (a story for a different time when I am ready). I went to the local Walmart. I need more vitamins. I thought a quick trip to the store and then I would be able to go to my sisters house for some relaxing.
I park my truck on the Garden Center side (my town was super small and we only had a regular Walmart, no super center there). This was a large alley way that the delivery trucks would drive through to leave and get on the road again. Not alot of people park on this side unless they are an employee. Anyways...I get out and lock my truck. I hear a faint new baby cry sound. I look up thinking that I will see a new baby in a cart or buggy or harness or even their parents arms a ways off, but no one is there. I look around perplexed and think maybe I am just hearing things.
I start to walk and some instinct inside tells me to walk around this seen-better-days-90's-model honda accord. I step down off the tall curb and look in. I see a rear-facing infant seat in the back on passenger side with the diaper bag on the seat next to it in the middle of the back seat. All the windows are up. Now, when I got out of my truck the temp for outside was registered at 104 and it was not even the hottest part of the day. (I lived in the desert in a super small town). I walk down the driver side, and around the back of the car. As I am walking I look through the rear window and see the brand new baby. Had to either be a day old or maybe at most like a week or two. My heart cant decide if it wants to fall to my stomach or fly to my throat. I dont even think. I grab the door handles and yank on each in turn. All are locked.
I run back to my truck a few stalls over and grab the tire iron, turn the truck on stopping right behind the honda, leaving my truck running with max ac on. I run up to the drivers door and hit the window as hard as I can and it shatters. I have set off the alarm but I dont give a damn about the car or if I will have to pay for it. I only care about this little person left behind. Pull the lock and open the door reach over and unlock the babys door. I run around leaving the drivers door open. (For those wondering why I hit the drivers door window instead of the ones closer to the baby, I did not want to get glass on the baby and cause him to get hurt by it. I was taking EMT classes at the community college at that time.) I open the rear passenger door and grasp the car seat and grab the diaper bag, hoping that there would be information useful in the bag. I pop the baby in the bag seat of my truck clipping the safety belt in securing the baby. I threw the bag in the front passenger seat. Now I had three options. A-Go to the hospital with the baby immediately, B-Go to the service desk and call for help, or C-Go to the police station for assistance. I quickly as I can while doing so safely, drive around the building to the front of the store. I park in the no parking zone, grab the bag and the baby in his seat. Running up to the front service desk I am telling the employees to call EMS, and to request police and medical.
The woman looks at me crazy. I dont think she is getting what I am asking and must actually think I am crazy. The manager asks why and what my emergency is. (Believe it or not I do not have a cell phone at this point in my life.) I tell her is super short super fast detail of what my emergency is and she, instead of walking around the counter, jumps over it and flys at the phone. Her eyes were the size of soft balls when I told her the baby was not mine and how I got him. The police are the first to arrive. At this point I have the baby out of his seat and all of the diaper bag contents laid out on the service counter. No clues there on how to phone family of this little guy. The stores manager even ran to get pedialyte for the little guy. So with baby boy in my arms and pedialyte going down the hatch, the baby is calm and quiet and his temp is coming down to normal. The officer, Officer M. Scott, who was my DARE officer is asking me about what happened and there are people looking like they are watching a soap opera. I dont care so long as they find this little guys parents/family and get him checked out. As I finish my tale of what happened and begin explaining why I went through all this madness the EMT crew come in with the stretcher and gear. The look around as they come in the doors expecting a big person. They are shocked to hear the brief of what happened and they take the baby and start checking him out. I know that I am free to go at this point but I cant just leave and not see this through.
The EMT trainee that is with the crew, Michelle (we are in the same classes at the college, she is getting some of her hours in) is putting the baby boy back in his seat to be strapped onto the stretcher for transport. Guess what happens next...yep...baby's mother arrives. She looks odd. Now I know it isn't nice to say things like that but there was definitely something not right here with her. She comes barreling toward Scott. She is screeching about someone steeling her bag and baby. Thus we know it is momma. The EMT crew all turn and look at her like "really?". Scott asks her what happened. She said she came in the store to buy some beer, coolers, and cold medicine among other things. She said she left her baby in the car because he was crying and she didnt want to be embarrassed by him screaming and crying and making a scene. That someone had broken into her car and stole the bag and they must have taken the baby in his seat too. Sadly she doesnt even notice that her son in his seat on the stretch ready for transport, quiet and sleeping. Scott asked her how old her son was, he is ten days old. She asks what he is wearing, her response a carseat. In case yall want to know he was wearing a blue jumper, the kind that cover their feet and body so that only their head and hands are visible. Not to mention the blankets he had tucked in on him in his seat.
Scott asks her to please turn around, that he needs to check her over. She asks him why. He tells her that he believes that she has been drinking and may be under influence of other substances and that he needs to be sure that she is not going to pull a weapon on him. She turns and he does the pat down. As he is finishing the pat down, he tells her that he needs to tell her something else. She asks him, "what? we need to find my bag. Arent you going to help me?" He says he will help her but that she is under arrest for endangering a minor childs life, and he cuffs her as he says this. Boy she was not happy. Scotts partner, Officer Keiyz takes her out to the squad car reciting her rights. Scott is looking at the contents of the diaper bag on the counter. He picks up the empty bag. He shakes it and feels all over the bag. "$#!%, you've got to be kidding me!" he sighs. He rips the bottom of the bag and out pops three little tiny zippy bags with white glitter in them. And just as I start to think that is a strange place for someone to put glitter, it hits me. That is not glitter. Remembering parts from DARE and my medical training classes, I know exactly what that is. It is cocaine. Scott requests a test kit from the car and the camera. He takes pictures of the contents I already pulled and then of what he found and where it came from. He look pictures of the baby boy in his seat and then clearing the baby to go to hospital, the EMT crew leaves with the baby. Im watching him with the nik test kit. He explains how it works, although I already know. The clear fluid practically instantly turns purple. Which is a confirmation of it being cocaine.
Later I learn that the mother has enough drugs in her system that the physician that looked her over was surprised she was alive. The police managed to reach the father of the baby boy and I later met him. His name was Maxwell. He wanted me to know in person that I would not have to pay for the honda's damage. I told him my only concern was if the little guy was alright and that he was safe. He was happy telling me how he gained full custody of his son and that he was doing great. "If it weren't for you, I don't think I would have my son today, thank you."
I hope that other individuals out there have the courage and instincts that I do. The damage to a vehicle is replaceable and can be repaired. The loss of a little baby or child is not. I learned at her hearing that she was using her son, his diaper bag, and carseat to do drug transactions. She went to jail. Max got his son, by the way his name was Jackon. And I got to be a hero for a day, by doing what is right and at least three other people did not do. That was seven years ago.
Please do not leave your children or pets in a vehicle alone. If I leave my children or pets in the car or trucks, my fiance is with them and we have the vehicle on with the appropriate heat or conditioning on. And remember that if it is 100F outside and the sun is out then the inside temp of a vehicle is actually 125F, and if it is 125F then it is 160F. Those are the best examples so if it is a lower temp outside like the 70s-80s its really 100-115F inside the vehicle. Even with the windows lightly rolled enough for a crack of outside air coming in it is still the same temps, the windows would have to be all the way down to make any sort of difference and still be a danger to children and pets. Please dont forget your family in a vehicle.
What in the heck is wrong with some people? The more I read the more ticked off I got. Not at you, lol. That woman had to have been high as a kite.