(Updated: 1:42 p.m.) After cops spotted a supposedly stolen car parked on North Frontage Street, firefighters wedged open a door and removed an infant who had been locked inside for hours.
Police later arrested the baby’s father for three crimes related to the incident.
Here’s what happened, according to police Lt. Makiem Miller, Fire Chief Allyn Wright, and police spokesman Officer David Hartman:
At around 7:30 p.m. Monday, police received a call from a man who claimed that his Nissan Rogue had been stolen, with his 9-month-old baby in the backseat.
“We find the car a few minutes later on North Frontage, parked on the side of the road,” Miller said. “So we’re thinking that someone stole the car, realized the baby was there, and parked the car.”
The police called firefighters to get the baby out of the locked car. Squad 2 firefighters responded from the Ellsworth Avenue fire station, wedged the door open, popped the locks, and removed the infant. Miller said the baby seemed fine; she was alert and smiling. She was taken to the hospital for examination.
Meanwhile, police spoke to the father, who smelled of booze and wasn’t making sense. His story kept changing and he avoided any direct questions. And—he had the car keys on him. Police began to suspect that the car wasn’t stolen after all.
Witnesses confirmed that the car had been parked on North Frontage for at least a couple of hours before the father reported it stolen. Cops noted that the hood and tailpipe were cold.
Police located the baby’s mom, who said the father had never called her. The mother left work to see the baby at the hospital.
Cops concluded that the father had lied about the car being stolen. They arrested him for risk of injury to a child, falsely reporting an incident and reckless endangerment. Police notified the State Department of Children and Families, which began an investigation.