A baby, left to die in a sweltering car, has been rescued by one courageous citizen.
Sarah Oropeza, the manager at a Famous Footwear in Kansas, was checking out a customer when she was alerted to baby in the parking lot. It was a hot day and one of Sarah’s young employees was leaving after a long shit when she spotted the baby in desperate need. The employee ran back into the store to get help.
Without hesitation Sarah sprang into action, grabbing whatever she could to break the window and save the poor child. Reportedly, there was no guardian in site and she had no choice, she had to think about the child. Smashing the window, it became very clear the baby was in poor condition, covered in sweat and lethargic the pair called 911 for more assistance.
It was later discovered that the child’s guardian, the father, was not involved in the negligence as the father’s cousin and sister were the responsible parties at the time. The father is eternally grateful to Sarah for rescuing his child. It was also said the cousin stated he felt like a monster for what he had done.
Regardless of anyone’s feelings, it is a felony to knowingly, or unknowingly, leave a minor alone in a car. The District Attorney, Steve Howe, sends praise to Sarah for saving the child but pursued charges against both the cousin and sister for endangering the child’s life.
Watch the news interview below.
As reported by KCTV News.
“No emotion at all, whatsoever. The only question they had for police was if insurance was going to pay to cover the window that we broke,” Oropeza said.
They have denied saying this.
Oropeza and an officer told the couple to leave the store. Police ticketed the couple for child endangerment. Howe has since decided to upgrade the municipal charges to felony charges. Read more here.
“We take these matters very seriously,” Howe said. “We know how hot it was in Kansas City this weekend. There really is no kind of excuse for that kind of conduct.”
Merriam police were also called out Sunday afternoon to the south parking garage of Ikea where two children under 10 were left in a car. Police say the windows were down, but the parents were ticketed as well.
Child care experts say in most cases where it is accidental, parents are so busy and distracted they forget their child is in the backseat. However, they also see kids die because they were playing in cars that were left unlocked.
Keep in mind, leaving a child in the car for even a few minutes could be a deadly decision. In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can soar 20 degrees. And on days like Saturday, you’re talking about triple digits before you’ve barely even walked away from that car.