A Michigan police dispatcher failed to send aid to a desperate mother who had accidentally locked her baby in her car on a hot day, the mom told Oxygen.com.
Now, the Waterford Township Police Department is admitting it was in the wrong when the dispatcher told Lacey Guyton to call a tow truck — as she frantically tried to rescue her 2-month-old baby, Raina, according to CBS.
“We should have responded in this case,” Waterford police officials told CBS. “This is not the level of service our community has come to expect."
Guyton told Oxygen.com in a Facebook message that Waterford Chief of Police Scott Underwood had personally apologized to her, and offered to pay for the broken window.
Guyton’s ordeal began Aug. 18, when she was leaving from a visit with her grandmother in Waterford, a township northeast of Detroit, she wrote on Facebook.
As she was getting little Raina into the car, the mom plopped the baby seat in the back, along with a bag of diapers, and shut the door — but as she was walking around to get in the driver’s seat, the vehicle suddenly locked automatically, leaving her with no way to get back into the car, she said.
Temperatures in Waterford reached 84 degrees that day, meaning it could have been as hot as 100 degrees inside the car, according to CBS News.
Guyton’s grandmother promptly called 911, while the young mom picked up a piece of asphalt to smash a window, but was unable to do so. All the while, Guyton wrote, her baby grew more and more agitated.
"So she's screaming and crying, which is making her hotter, and I'm still trying to break the window," Guyton told CBS.
On the phone, meanwhile, her grandmother got no help from the 911 dispatcher, Guyton told CBS.
In a recording of the call broadcast on Fox 5News, the dispatcher can be heard interrupting the tot's grandma.
“We don’t unlock vehicles, unfortunately,” the dispatcher said.
Oblivious to the panic of Guyton and her grandmother, the dispatcher told Guyton’s grandmother that the police department does not help people retrieve keys that have been locked in cars, and instead offered to transfer her to a tow-truck company.
But, as Guyton watched her little girl squirm in the hot car, that was clearly not an option.
“I didn’t have time to wait for a tow company as my baby is screaming and getting hotter in the car,” she wrote on Facebook.
Rather than wait for help, Guyton switched to a window-breaking tool supplied by her grandfather. Still, she was unable to break the passenger-side window, she wrote.
Finally, she went around the car to the back window, and succeeded in smashing it. At last, she was reunited with her daughter, who, by this time, was screaming and drenched in sweat, she told CBS.
In an interview with CBS, Guyton described the entire experience as “heartbreaking.”
"It makes me feel terrible that she had to go through that. It makes me feel so mad," Guyton said, according to CBS News. "After calling twice, the dispatcher, who's a veteran dispatcher, still didn't send somebody out."
The Waterford Township Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Oxygen.com.
[Photo: Facebook via Lacey Guyton]
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