A Tennessee woman is facing charges after police say she left her child inside a vehicle while she shopped at a Shelby County shopping center.
Local Memphis reports that a store customer alerted an officer who happened to be in the area about an infant inside a car at the Dollar Tree parking lot off of the 7900 block of Shelby Drive. At around 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, the officer located the baby inside a car with the windows rolled up and no air conditioning.
The officer acted quickly and busted a window out of the car, unlocked the doors and pulled the baby boy to safety.
“This was one of those cases we’re at the right place at the right time and fast thinking is what essentially saved this child’s life,” Lieutenant Anthony Buckner with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department said. “No windows let down, no air coming through the vehicle. The engine was turned off. The deputy knew that he had to act, and he had to act fast.”
Dollar Tree manager Tamara Webber was nearby and held the baby as he was removed from the car. She said he was “drenched in sweat.”
“After I gave the baby back to police, I ran inside to get an apple juice something so the baby can be cool to drink. Because we didn’t see a baby bag or anything.”
Authorities located the mother, identified as Janeth Lemus, 19, who was reportedly “stunned” when she walked out of the store and saw the officers.
“She kept saying she wanted her cell phone and she started saying, ‘bruh, bruh I need my phone bruh,’ so I was like y’all need to take her on to jail because this simply intentional; you don’t leave a baby in the car,” Webber told the outlet.
The temperatures hit 90 degrees in Shelby County on Sunday, reaching much higher temperatures inside the car. The baby was taken to a local hospital for a medical checkup and is expected to be fine.
Lemus is facing a child abuse charge. She was arraigned Monday morning.
[Feature Photo: Janeth Lemus/Police Handout]