Cuyahoga County – On Saturday 6/8/19 at approx. 12:30PM WPD received a call from Crocker Park Security about a baby locked in an otherwise unoccupied vehicle on the ground floor of the Main Street Garage at Crocker Park.
The temperatures that day were about 70-75 degrees with 50% humidity. Being that the vehicle’s windows were rolled up minus a slightly cracked sun roof, the temps in the car were much warmer. To make matters worse, there was a baggie of apparent marijuana in plain view locked inside with the baby. Luckily, a passing Crocker Park customer alerted security to the illegally parked vehicle. Although they apparently did not notice the 14 month old strapped in the back seat, they saw something out of the ordinary and alerted authorities. Our officers arrived and unlocked the vehicle to free the child and get him some fresh air. A WFD rescue squad was called as was Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. The responsive but crying 14 month old was transported to the hospital for evaluation as no one was sure how long he had been cooped up in the car. While the officers were investigating the incident, a male returned to the vehicle with an Apple Store bag in his hand. He admitted that he had parked the vehicle and “completely forgot” his child in the back seat.
The child was checked by the hospital and later released to his mother with a safety plan in place. The forgetful father, a 23yo from Cleveland, was arrested and charged with endangering children and possession of marijuana. Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage to determine just how long the baby was locked in the vehicle alone.
Kudos to the citizen shopper who followed the “see something say something” marketing and to Crocker Park Security who took the extra step to check the inside of the car before simply giving it a parking ticket. This goes as an important reminder to all. Slow down and keep everyone safe!