Toddler drenched in sweat rescued from hot minivan -- officer confronts mom in parking lot
HACKENSACK, N.J. – A two-year-old girl is alive thanks to a quick-thinking Costco manager who called police after finding the child locked inside a hot minivan in the parking lot.
The video shows a two-year-old girl sitting inside a parked minivan at a Costco parking lot while her mother finishes shopping. The scared little girl was "sweating profusely" and crying in the car seat, according to WPIX.
Officers smashed a vehicle window to open the minivan door. The video shows them picking up and hugging the girl.
The officers started running the minivan's license plate to find the parents when the mother, Chaeyoung Lim-Kim, with another child on a shopping cart, walked up with a cart full of groceries.
Officer: "Is this your kid?"
Officer: "No 'sorry!' She could have died! I'll hold her. I'll hold her."
The officers estimated he was locked inside the stifling van for at least 10 minutes, which is long enough for temperatures inside to reach over 100 degrees.
“Knowing the severity of the temperature outside the vehicle, I can only imagine what it was like inside the vehicle,” said Sheriff’s Officer Richard Carrion.
Carrion used the metal tip at the end of his baton to shatter a window on the passenger side. Officer Sonya Bekier, who has a child of the same age, pulled the crying toddler out. She gave him water and consoled him.
“I obviously was upset being a mother myself,” said Bekier.
Soaked in sweat, the boy was rushed to a hospital. Police say once checked out, he was deemed to be okay.
“I can’t even guess what she was thinking with this kind of weather,” commented Wendy Lees, a mother of two.
Coincidentally, Friday happens to be National Heatstroke Prevention Day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that 30 children died last year, after being left alone in hot cars.
“If you see something odd, a child left in a car, a suspicious person, a package, you need to let us know,” warned Carrion, “We need to work together.”
The mother was arrested and charged with child endangerment and released on her own recognizance.