ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has obtained body camera video of an Atlanta police officer saving a child who was locked in a hot car.
Her mother accidentally locked the child in the minivan along with the keys. That’s when she immediately called for help to get her baby out of the hot vehicle.
The dramatic scene unfolded at The Peach shopping center along Peachtree Road in Buckhead on July 10.
“Hey, ma’am, are you OK?” the officer can be heard asking the mother.
“I need help getting into my car. My baby’s in there,” the mother says in tears. “I called right away. Just didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t have anything to break the window.”
The video then shows the officer smashing the front passenger window and unlocking the doors to get the woman’s 7-month-old out of the hot car that had been sitting in the sweltering July heat.
“It’s OK, buddy,” the officer can be heard saying to the baby inside as he breaks the window out.
The Atlanta police officer who saved the child was Officer Ronald Stoddard. Channel 2's Michael Seiden spoke with him Friday about the ordeal.
“As soon as I saw that the child was in distress, I immediately forced entry,” Stoddard said.
This isn’t only incident lately.
Just a few days before the Buckhead incident, Officer Michael Doherty had to use his training to rescue a 1-year-old boy who accidentally got locked inside a truck July 6 outside Krog Street Market
“You want to do whatever it takes to get them out of the car," Doherty said.
On Friday, Seiden went to the emergency room at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.
"Last year was a record-setting year, with 52 children who died due to being left in a hot vehicle," Dr.
Maneesha Agarwal, with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, said.
So far this year, doctors say there have been no reported deaths in Georgia but an average of 37 kids die each year in hot cars nationwide.
“There have been heat-related deaths reported when the temperature is as low as 60 degrees outside, so you really never want to leave your child unattended in a vehicle,” Agarwal said.
With more than two months left of summer, doctors and first responders are hoping parents remain vigilant.
“I have a 5-month-old at home. I think about this all the time with my wife. This could happen to anybody, so you did not do anything wrong, so don’t blame yourself,” Stoddard said.
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