A Michigan mother said a 911 dispatcher refused to send police to her grandparents’ home after she accidentally locked her 2-month-old daughter in her car.
CBS News reported that Waterford police have apologized for last Saturday’s incident involving Lacey Guyton and her infant daughter, Raina. Temperatures reportedly reached 84 degrees on the day Raina became trapped at the vehicle.
Guyton told WJBK that they were leaving her grandparents’ home in Waterford when she put her daughter in her car seat and the car doors unexpectedly, automatically locked. The keys were also in the car—meaning the baby was trapped in her car on a hot August day, she said.
The mother said she desperately tried to break the window with a piece of asphalt while her grandmother called 911.
“My granddaughter just put her baby in the car and the car door locked and we can’t get in it,” grandmother Mary Riley said during the emergency call, according to WJBK.
The dispatcher reportedly responded, “We don’t unlock vehicles, unfortunately.”
Guyton told CBS that the car was gradually getting hotter as the 2-month-old cried. It was 10 to 12 minutes later when the mother managed to break out the back windshield and rescue the screaming, sweating infant.
“It makes me feel terrible that she had to go through that. It makes me feel so mad,” the mother told the news station.
“After calling twice, the dispatcher, who’s a veteran dispatcher, still didn’t send somebody out. It’s heartbreaking.”
Police Chief Scott Underwood confirmed to WJBK that his department doesn’t break in to cars. The dispatcher reportedly said they would transfer the matter to the tow company. But, with a 2-month-old trapped in a hot car, Guyton said there wasn’t time for that.
The police chief ultimately agreed with the family and apologized for his department’s response to an all-too-familiar ordeal that has claimed 35 lives this year so far, according to NoHeatStroke.org.
“It’s a common sense issue,” Underwood said, adding that the veteran dispatcher will be disciplinaed for their response. CBS News reported that Waterford dispatchers will also undergo training on how to handle those calls in the future.
“You call 911, you expect for somebody to come and give you some help, and we certainly should have gone and done that,” he said. “We made a mistake and we need to fix that.”
[Featured image: WJBK video screengrab]