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Saturday, December 16 News

Baby accidentally locked in car; cops break window

FAIRFIELD — A police officer broke a window on a Jeep Grand Cherokee Aug. 10 after a woman accidentally locked her keys, and her 6-month-old grandson, inside.

Initially, an online news organization reported on social media that the infant had been left in the car in the parking lot at BJ’s Wholesale Club but did not make it clear that the child’s grandmother was him, prompting an onslaught of negative comments from people who believed the child was left in the car while the woman was in the store. That was not the case, police said, and the Facebook posting was later updated with the correct information.

According to police, the woman was inside shopping with her grandson for about 22 minutes, and surveillance video confirmed that. When she finished shopping, she returned to her car, and put the infant and his carrier, in the vehicle. She also put her bag, with her keys and cellphone in it, into the car.

At that point, police said, she was loading the groceries into the rear of the Jeep. She said when she finished and shut the trunk, the doors all automatically locked, which had never happened before. She yelled for help and flagged down a BJ’s employee who was in the parking lot, and he recalled seeing a police officer in the Planet Fitness lot across the street. He ran to the driveway, waving his arms at the officer. Meanwhile, a car pulled up to the officer and told him a child was locked in a car.

The officer notified dispatch, asking for the Fire Department and an ambulance to respond to the parking lot. The infant, he said, was crying loudly and had been in the car for about 10 minutes. He used a collapsible baton to break the front driver’s side window, and the car was unlocked.

The baby and his grandmother, who is a Fairfield resident, waited in the police vehicle’s air conditioning until the ambulance arrived. Paramedics said it did not appear the baby was in any immediate danger but suggested he be taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Police concluded that the incident was accidental, not an act of negligence. The grandmother was not charged.

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