(Westlake) - On Saturday 6/8/19 at approx. 12:30PM officers 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.
Temperatures that day were between 70-75 degrees with 50% humidity. Officers reported that the vehicle’s windows were rolled up with a slightly cracked sun roof, the temps in the car were much warmer.
They also spotted a baggie of apparent marijuana in plain view, locked inside with the baby.
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.
Westlake officers were able to unlock the vehicle to free the child and the 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. Investigators were not 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 23 year old father, a 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.
Officers credit the citizen shopper who followed the "see something say something" advice, and to Crocker Park Security who took the extra step to check the inside of the car before simply giving it a parking ticket.
(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)
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