HACKENSACK, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — A video taken by a good Samaritan in the parking lot of a Hackensack, New Jersey Costco shows a hot weather disgrace.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, inside of the Toyota minivan surrounded by police officers was a sweating 2-year-old, who sheriffs said was left behind by his mother.
An officer smashed the window to free the crying child.
The video was shot by Arislyeda Pena, while her fiance, Rafael Rodriguez tried to reach in through a slightly opened back window.
“I was trying to put my hand through, but only from my wrist to elbow. I wasn’t able to get it open,” Rodriguez said.
That’s when he noticed officers racing over to the minivan.
“He approached the vehicle and quickly reacted, broke the window open on the other side,” Rodriguez said, “She (sic) was totally sweaty, very drenched. She was very red and crying.”
The mother then arrived with another child and a shopping cart full of groceries.
“She just said, ‘I’m sorry,’ it looks like she didn’t speak English,” Rodriguez said, “The police officer told her: ‘How can you say you’re sorry? Your child could’ve been dead.'”
An officer told Rodriguez’s fiancee to stop taking video. The mother was taken into custody and charged with child endangerment. Both of her children were released to the custody of their father.
Workers collecting carts in the parking lot said they have seen some strange things, but never a child unattended in the car. Until this case.
Shoppers were shocked when they saw the video.
“It’s beyond me. I never forget my kids,” Michael Vinar said. “They always come with me, and there was my primary concern.”
Rodriguez said he hopes the video travels far and wide as a warning to everyone.