Good For These Shoppers Who Smashed The Window Of A Hot Car To Free Two Trapped Children (UPDATE)
If I came upon a car with kids in it on a hot day and had no idea how long they had been in there or the physical state they may be in – I would do anything in my power to get them out. Which is why I’m totally behind these shoppers who heard two kids crying in a car on a hot Texas day and took it upon themselves to smash the windows and get them out.
Gabriel Del Valle, a man who owns a store in the strip mall where the car was parked told local news that he heard the kids crying from his shop. He came out to see several other people looking into the car, trying to help the children. One man came back with a hammer and smashed the windows. They still had a hard time getting the kids out because the safety lock was on, so a woman climbed into the car to help free the children. The temperature was in the nineties.
No one called the police, so when the mother emerged from the salon and saw what had happened she apologized and admitted to making a horrible mistake. According to Del Valle, she pleaded with the rescuers to not call the police. No one did.
Since they have a video of the car that obviously contains the license plate number, I’m not sure why this woman hasn’t been arrested for child endangerment. Her kids obviously weren’t old enough to negotiate getting out of the car themselves. They were in distress and it was hot enough for onlookers to believe they needed to act. I’m not quite sure why no one called 911. I’m glad these people helped the children, but also confused by the fact that we live in a time where someone’s first reaction is to start taping instead of calling 911.
In case any of you think the onlookers overreacted by taking it upon themselves to free the kids, I’d like to show you this video a North Carolina father made last month after becoming distressed by all of the incidents of children dying in cars. He decided to see what it felt like to be left in a hot car. It was in the high eighties the day he made the following video.
The woman in this story intentionally left her kids in the car to “get a quick haircut.” This is why we need laws protecting children; because everyone doesn’t have common sense. Unfortunately, you can’t count on every parent’s definition of “child endangerment” to be the same.
UPDATE: It seems there’s a reason no one called the police. Several witnesses (not including Del Valle who shot the video and told his account to the local news) came out this evening to say this mother did not leave her kids in the car – and a hair salon had nothing to do with what actually happened. From WFAA:
But the story took a new turn on Tuesday when other witnesses said this mother isn’t guilty of anything.
“It’s not like she left the kids in the car… no,” said one.
“It’s not like she did something wrong,” said another.
There is surveillance video to prove the mother was shopping with her children when she returned to the car to load them in and locked her keys inside.
The surveillance footage shows her walk frantically back in the postal store, asking for help.
At the woman’s request, a customer inside the postal store grabs a hammer and breaks the vehicle’s rear window as the children are crying in the background. The woman is upset, too.
The woman on Del Valle’s video is not a concerned bystander – it’s a mother trying to get her kids out of the car. Police were never called. News report makes no mention of what Del Valle’s motivation for telling his story would be.