Shoppers gathered around a Texas parking lot in the hot sun as two young children were seen locked in a Jeep and crying. The heat on the outside of the car was unbearable, so the inside must have been like an oven for these kids.
According to USA Today on July 16, the irate shoppers took matters into their own hands and decided to get those kids out of that hot car. Some of them tried to smash the windows to no avail, but the small boy and girl locked in that hot car were saved when a man ran and got his hammer.
The hammer shattered the window, but the car had the child locks on the door making it difficult to get the doors open to get to the kids. Finally the children were removed from the car by this crowd of strangers.
The children were removed from the hot car and then the mother of the kids finally emerged from the shopping center. She said she had left the kids locked inside the car just to run in and get a quick haircut. This is where the story gets confusing.
According to The Huffington Post today several bystanders have come forward to say that the mother did not intentionally lock the kids in the vehicle. She had come out of the store with the kids and put them in the car. She then locked the keys in the car with the kids inside.
With the temperatures rising above the 90 degree mark in that Katy, Texas parking lot, shoppers felt they had no choice but act fast to get those kids out. It is not clear where the mother was at this time, but surveillance video of the shops shows that the mother entered the store with her kids at one point.
In an urgent case such as this, you would think the mother would have called 911 and stayed with the vehicle in which her kids were locked inside. Again, this is where the details get sketchy.
Gabriel Del Valle stepped out of his shop, which was nearby the Jeep that the kids were locked in and he could hear the kids crying. He witnessed the crowd releasing he kids from the car. He also took a video of the ordeal.
He said that the mother did come out of the shops saying that she had just run in to get a quick haircut and pleaded with the crowd not to call police. Del Valle said he didn't care what she was doing, it didn't justify leaving kids in a hot car.
She pleaded with the crowd not to call the police. Apparently she became so remorseful for the unthinkable act of locking her children in the car that the crowd agreed to let her go without notifying the police.
The woman pleaded, telling everyone that she made a "terrible mistake." This is what Del Valle reports. Could the woman's mistake have been locking the keys in the car with the kids?
When this story first broke on Tuesday, readers comments on KHOU's website and Facebook page called for the woman's arrest. This year the death of a little boy in a hot car and his father's arrest for deliberately leaving the boy in the car to die has plagued the headlines.
The little boy's death has left the public raw with emotions. While finding these two kids in a car in the hot sun would have made most people irate at any time, this issue stirs more emotions today than it ever has after the little boy's death. The police should have been called in this latest case just for the kids' future safety.