Howell, NJ - 911 Call, Store Footage Released In Lakewood Area Hot Car Rescue
Howell, NJ - Three days after a Lakewood baby was rescued by a pair of good Samaritans after being left in a hot car, video footage and audio have been released of the dramatic encounter.
As previously reported on VIN News(http://goo.gl/YUz2wd), 33 year old Karen Gruen of Lakewood was charged with child endangerment on Monday after allegedly leaving her four month old daughter alone in her car on a hot summer day while she shopped with two other children.
According to ABC News, it was Sara Mazzone who first heard the baby crying in the Route 9 parking lot. Walking over to the vehicle, whose engine was off and windows were closed, she saw the infant strapped into her car seat and covered by a blanket. Mazzone began to panic and retired police officer Steve Eckel came over to offer his assistance, placing a 911 call at 12:54 PM.
“I’m in front of Kohl’s in Howell, New Jersey,” Eckel told the 911 operator. “I got an infant in a car, locked car, Nissan Sentra blue…I don’t want to smash the window myself, I am a retired officer with a baby in the car. Can you send somebody?”
As Eckel and Mazzone waited for help to come, they became alarmed by the baby’s condition which appeared to be deteriorating.
“Breathing quickly, hyperventilating and clearly in distress,” said Mazzone.
Realizing that they had no choice but to act, Eckel grabbed a sledgehammer from his car and broke the car’s front passenger window, giving them ability to remove the baby from the back seat.
Video surveillance obtained from Kohl’s shows Eckel and Mazzone rushing into the store’s front vestibule carrying a car seat. Eckel sat down on a bench and began undressing the baby in the hopes of being able to cool her down in the air conditioned area.
Police and paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and Gruen was arrested by police when she returned to her car. She was released pending a future court date.
Two of Eckel’s daughters shared their father’s act of heroism on Twitter. Carissa Eckel tweeted “my dad just smashed open a window with a sledgehammer and saved a baby hysterically crying by itself in a car” while her sister Courtney wrote “My dad is a local celeb! Definitely something to be proud of as a daughter. Saved a baby from a car in the heat!”
According to the Asbury Park Press, this was the second time this summer that a baby was left in a hot car in the same shopping center but Sergeant Gregory Staffordsmith of the Lakewood Police Department said he had no details on the earlier incident.
More of today's headlines“London - Apple's chief executive says the company has put aside "several billion dollars" to pay tax liabilities in the United States as it repatriates some of its huge...” London - Apple Says Several Billion Dollars Set Aside For US Taxes “Germany - Germany's military launched a pilot project Thursday to help Syrian refugees learn civil reconstruction skills, in hopes that they will eventually be able to...” Germany - German Army Teaches Syrian Refugees Reconstruction Skills