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What Would You Have Done?
Old 04-02-2012, 08:18 AM   #1
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What Would You Have Done?

I am very much bothered by something that happened yesterday and the fact that I did nothing. What would you have done in this situation...

Around mid-day I went to a local strip mall to return a TJ Maxx purchase. Parking at the far end of the lot, I notice the car next to me had the driver's side door propped open by a coffee cup. I looked inside the car and there is a baby, around 4mos. old in the back seat. Temp was sunny and low sixties so no danger of suffocation. But what about the whackos that are all around us? I did decide to call 911 if, upon returning, the parents were nowhere to be found. The mother was sitting in the car when I got back about 15 minutes later.

Looking back on the incident, I now feel I should have called 911. What would you have done?
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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Is this a trick question? Baby alone in a car? Ask aloud for the parent and then call 911 without hesitation.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:00 AM   #3
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:06 AM   #4
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I had a situation where a baby was locked in the car in our parking lot on a hot day. I called our park police. They said they were about 45 minutes away. I hung up, and called 911. The baby was out of the car in less than 10 minutes. Later, I was reprimanded for not waiting for our park police. (Our park police have always had a complex about not being real officers.) I told them to stick their reprimand, and said if it happened again, I wouldn't even call them. My supervisor at the time backed me 100%.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:52 AM   #5
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I had a situation where a baby was locked in the car in our parking lot on a hot day. I called our park police. They said they were about 45 minutes away. I hung up, and called 911. The baby was out of the car in less than 10 minutes. Later, I was reprimanded for not waiting for our park police. (Our park police have always had a complex about not being real officers.) I told them to stick their reprimand, and said if it happened again, I wouldn't even call them. My supervisor at the time backed me 100%.
Wow, I'll bet the media would have a field day with those park police.

As to the OP question, absolutely would have called without even thinking about it.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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I had a similar expience a few years ago. About 11:00pm, I had gotten off work and stopped at the 24 hr supermarket. I saw a van, parked in the handicapped lane, engine running and a baby in the passenger seat. No adult around. I sat and waited and watched for about 10 minutes before the mother came out of the store and drove off.

In retrospect, I should have called 911 immediately.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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I would have camped out and kept an eye on things to make the baby was ok. Then yelled at the parents.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brdofpray View Post
I had a situation where a baby was locked in the car in our parking lot on a hot day. I called our park police. They said they were about 45 minutes away. I hung up, and called 911. The baby was out of the car in less than 10 minutes. Later, I was reprimanded for not waiting for our park police. (Our park police have always had a complex about not being real officers.) I told them to stick their reprimand, and said if it happened again, I wouldn't even call them. My supervisor at the time backed me 100%.
The ability to see into the future is a wonderful thing. Apparently those who reprimanded you have it and you don't. Since you are a mere mortal, unlike those who reprimanded you, your decision was correct.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #9
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Who knows precisely how we will react to things until we are faced with them. Thinking about it, it seems like it might make sense to wait briefly to see if the mother came back. If she did I would have cautioned her that I was about to call 911. If she didn't, I would have called 911.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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I would have camped out and kept an eye on things to make the baby was ok. Then yelled at the parents.
+1. That's what I have done the 2-3 times I've seen babies or dogs left alone in cars (depending on ambient temps and no visible ventilation). And if while waiting it appeared to me the baby or dog was in danger, I'd probably call 911 and ask them if I should break out a window (and hope they would). I've scolded parents, and of course they just blow me off...or worse 'mind your own business.'

So next time, I will probably wait 60 seconds, write down the license plate #, and just call 911 instead of waiting.

I've never been confronted with a baby with a door left ajar, that's another rung up in the crazy ladder...
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:29 AM   #11
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I am curious. What are the standards for 'reckless endangerment' in most states? Perhaps somebody with legal experience can enlighten us.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #12
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I would have camped out and kept an eye on things to make the baby was ok. Then yelled at the parents.
+2. As stupid and heinous as the parent's action was, I would hesitate to call the police. Things get severely escalated these days, and I doubt being left in a car for a couple of minutes would be as traumatic for the baby as being put into foster care or having a parent in prison.

Having said that, the yelling would have been very vehement, with threats of calling the cops and all. Put the fear of God into whoever did it. Also if the parent was gone for more than just a few minutes I would probably have gone ahead and called 911.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:18 PM   #13
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I've never been confronted with a baby with a door left ajar, that's another rung up in the crazy ladder...
I can see it. Five minutes after the baby finally goes down for a nap, the parent's bladder times out and they really need to pee.

Apparently the coffee cup wasn't large enough...
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:36 PM   #14
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I would have called 911. Waiting to confront the parent would mean putting yourself at risk. If they're stupid enough to leave a baby unattended, they're stupid enough to do other things too.

I've never seen babies left behind, but I have seen dogs left in cars on sweltering hot days. One poor dog was left in the back of a Mercedes when the temp was well into the 90s. The back window was open a crack. I waited about 5 minutes then started pouring cold water into the guy's back seat so the poor creature could drink. I called the police but it took them 20 minutes to get there and by then the guy was back and was upset that his back seat was soaked.

I have a friend who thinks it's okay to leave his dog in the van while he goes into a restaurant for a meal. I've already warned him that I will be calling the police and the SPCA (who, btw, are useless) every time I see him do it.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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I can see it. Five minutes after the baby finally goes down for a nap, the parent's bladder times out and they really need to pee.

Apparently the coffee cup wasn't large enough...
Anybody who has a bladder like that should rent themselves out to the fire department
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:40 PM   #16
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+1 on calling for the mother or waiting a few minutes before calling 911.

In October, 1990, my parents were visiting from England. One day I drove down to the local store and my Dad and I popped in for a few minutes to get something, leaving Mother and our 8 yr old son in the back. This was a car (Camry) where the doors automatically lock as soon as you get moving.

When we came back a few minutes later the rear door was open and my mother was absolutely fuming. "I can't believe you left us locked in the car in this heat, I wouldn't treat a dog like that!!" I asked how she opened the door and she said that our son had climbed through the seats to the front and pressed the lock release for all the doors. I then showed her (and my son) that to open her door all she needed to do was lift up the door lock button just as if it didn't have central locking.

If my son hadn't been in the car my mother would never have figured it out and she was disabled so couldn't get through to the front. (electric windows so no hope there). The lesson for me was that I needed to be a lot more careful in future.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #17
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The ability to see into the future is a wonderful thing. Apparently those who reprimanded you have it and you don't. Since you are a mere mortal, unlike those who reprimanded you, your decision was correct.
removed due to my misunderstanding, or rather, my poor reading comprehension. Thanks Keim
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:47 PM   #18
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Runningbum,

I believe Chuckanut was referring to a later post by Brdofpray.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:58 PM   #19
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It might be an overreaction but I think I would have called the police. Or taken the baby, because hey, free baby! (just kidding! but I might have stayed to watch out for it until a parent returned or someone else called the cops). I'm not good with confrontational situations so I wouldn't have been comfortable or effective discussing the situation with the parents when they did return.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:01 PM   #20
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I would have called 911. Waiting to confront the parent would mean putting yourself at risk. If they're stupid enough to leave a baby unattended, they're stupid enough to do other things too.
+1
And now a days it seems like everyone and their dog has a concealed weapons permit.
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