Hours after finding a man lying face-down on the grass, a Maryland police officer reportedly jumped into action Tuesday afternoon to save a girl from a hot car.
While responding to reports of an unresponsive man, Prince George’s County police Cpl. Darryl Wormuth recalled peering into a nearby car and spotting a 1 1/2-year-old girl in a car seat. A photo taken by police indicated that the car’s exterior was 81 degrees on the day in question.
“I said, ‘Please God, let this child be alive.’ Her head was forward. She was either sleeping or had passed. And I could see her chest begin to rise,” Wormuth told reporters, according to WTVG.
According to a police statement, Wormuth initially responded to Parkway Terrace Drive in Suitland, where he discovered a conscious but verbally-unresponsive man. The officer said he hit the panic button on some nearby car keys in hopes of obtaining some paperwork that could identify him. The key didn’t activate any cars in three nearby lots—something that he said didn’t sit right with him.
That gut feeling led him to patrol apartment complex on Parkway Terrace Drive about three hours later. It was there that he heard music coming from a car, which was running and had the driver’s side window down. He reportedly looked in the window and discovered a little girl sitting in the backseat.
While it’s unclear how they got into the car, police called the manager of the apartment complex, who gave the girl chicken nuggets and water. WRC reported that she drank the water so fast that she almost choked.
“He was in hero mode, taking care of this baby,” property manager Latrice Leake told the local station.
Wormuth reportedly discovered a phone with dozens of missed calls. Police said used the phone to call the girl’s grandmother. The girl’s grandmother and mother picked her up a short time later.
“A lot of times, the good Lord gives us that situation or that scenario, and it’s our job to identify it and act on it,” the officer said.
Authorities later learned that the unresponsive man was a family member of the toddler girl and was supposed to be watching her. They believe the girl had sat in the hot car for hours.
Since the ordeal, the unnamed man was charged with reckless endangerment and a related unattended child charge. Police believe he was under the influence of a drug at the time, according to WRC.
"Please God let this child be alive. Her head was forward. She was either sleeping or had passed. And I could see her chest begin to rise," says Cpl. Darryl Wormuth. The Maryland police officer is being hailed a hero for saving a baby found inside a hot car.
Posted by 13abc on Thursday, May 3, 2018
[Featured Image: Prince George’s County Police Department]