Issaquah man leaves baby alone in hot car

July 30, 2013

By Peter Clark

Father arrested for second-degree abandonment

31-year-old Issaquah man was arrested July 24 after leaving his 3-month-old son in the car while he shopped at a grocery store.

At about 7 p.m., in the 4500 block of Klahanie Drive Southeast, a woman heading into the QFC spotted a baby alone in a white Volvo, according to King County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. After informing store employees in the shopping center in an attempt to find the baby’s parent, the woman called 911.

“It just so happened that one of our sergeants was doing paperwork nearby,” West said, adding that he quickly broke out the driver’s side window with a hammer to free the child. “He didn’t even hesitate.”

The sergeant described the baby as lethargic and somewhat responsive as medics admitted it to Swedish/Issaquah.

West said that the father was found in the QFC, where he had been for 20 minutes. The 31-year-old man was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for investigation of second-degree child abandonment.

Should he face conviction, West said that the King County Prosecutor’s Office would determine sentencing.

“Regardless of the reason, it’s too hot to leave people, pets or children in the car, period,” West said.

The baby was later released to its mother.

The high temperature July 24 was 85 degrees, according to weather.com.

Even with the windows cracked 2 inches, the internal temperature of a motor vehicle can exceed 125 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes, according to a recent news release from the Washington State Patrol.

On sunny days when the outside temperature may be in the 60s, the internal temperature of a motor vehicle can still exceed 110 degrees within one hour.

Call 911 immediately if you observe a child unattended in a motor vehicle. It is a crime in Washington to leave a child under 16 years of age in a motor vehicle with the engine running.

Other suggestions:

  • Never leave children unattended in or around a motor vehicle, not for even a minute.
  • Put something you will need at your destination in the backseat near the child such as a briefcase, purse or cellphone.
  • Always check the backseat before you lock the vehicle and walk away.
  • Teach your children that a motor vehicle is not a playground.
  • Always lock your vehicle and set the parking brake, even in your garage. Keep the keys out of the reach of your child.

Learn more at www.safekids.org, www.nhtsa.gov or www.kidsandcars.org.

 

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