A Texas family has avoided tragedy thanks to the quick action of a local police officer. Body camera footage captured the moment that a Duncanville cop saved an infant’s life by smashing a car window to remove the child from a hot car. Now, that baby’s family may face charges, as police warn parents to exercise caution in the summer heat.
How It Happened
Police received a concerned 911 call of a baby asleep in a hot car on the around 5 pm on Monday, August 17. Arriving on the scene, Officer Pinilla found the nearly-one-year-old strapped into a car seat, alone in a vehicle with the windows rolled up, said a police statement. The officer reportedly found the baby crying, sweating, and covered with vomit.
According to Weather Underground, the outdoor temperature in the area was about 93° F at the time. Duncanville police noted that outside temperatures of 80°-100° can lead to interior vehicle temperatures of up to 172°.
After calling for paramedics, Officer Pinilla acted swiftly to remove the distressed infant from the car. Body cam footage released by the department (posted below) shows the officer using his baton to bust through the passenger side front window, away from the baby in the backseat. Unlocking the car doors, the officer then moves to retrieve the infant.
“I know, I’m sorry,” Pinilla reassuringly tells the crying baby.
According to the police statement, Officer Pinilla kept the infant in his air-conditioned patrol car until paramedics arrived. Shortly thereafter, police located the baby’s mother, grandmother, and two older siblings nearby.
“All indications seem to point to this being a mistake caused by false assumptions and faulty communication about the infant’s well-being,” the statement said.
Still, police referred the incident to Child Protective Services (CPS) and a Dallas County Grand Jury to determine if charges would be appropriate.
The department also took the opportunity to educate parents about the danger of hot car deaths.
“Research shows that even on what would be considered a mild day with an outside temperature of 70 degrees, temperatures inside closed vehicles can become dangerously hot,” the department said.
They urged parents who may be stressed over an impending return to school — or any of this year’s many challenges — to remain vigilant.
“We implore everyone to please slow down, especially those with very young children, and account for those who cannot do [so] for themselves,” the statement said.
Watch the body cam footage below.