WARNING: This may be a long one. So bare with me!
Ok, earlier today I went to JoAnn's...for SOMETHING...now, I can't even remember what it was.
ANYWAY, I pull into a parking spot right next to a lady that I just so happen to know. She pulled in, like a second before I did. So, I put my vehicle in park and something catches my eye in the SUV that's parked right in front of me. It was a little girl, maybe 12 - 18 months old, strapped in the backseat in a carseat. She had on a big coat, gloves and a hat (it was about 30 degrees out this morning). I immediately notice that there's no one in the drivers seat. I sat there for a second, thinking that maybe there WAS someone with her and they were at the back of the SUV or leaning down inside...or SOMETHING. But I never saw anyone. So I look to my right at the lady that I know, who is still in her vehicle on the phone. I was going to mention what I saw to her just in case I was jumping to conclusions.
I get out of my van and I'm stalling, right? Just waiting around to see if an adult comes to the vehicle with the child in it. THEN...I notice that the SUV is running!!! Now, I'm really concerned. By now, it's been about 5 minutes or so. Keep in mind, I have no idea how long this car had been sitting there prior to my pulling up. So I walk up to the store, still looking back to make sure I wasn't crazy! Then Trish, the lady I parked next to, gets out and walks towards the entrance. I stop her, say hello and ask her if she happened to notice anyone get out of that SUV. She says no. So I tell her why I was asking and she immediately panics. So we go inside and ask to see a manager. There's no one in our immediate sight that looks like that vehicle and child belong to them. The JoAnn's employee takes too long to get someone for us, so I called 911 from my cell phone. I explain the situation to them and they say they will send a car right over. So I wait just inside the store, where I can see the SUV and the police when they come. By now, over 20-25 minutes have passed.
Finally the police come and I go out to meet him. He pulls up behind the Infiniti and gets out to talk to me and Trish. I inform him that I'm the one who called. The officer was clearly upset about this and starts complaining about parents who leave their kids in a parked car so THEY won't be inconvenienced. He takes down my information and thanks me for calling. He informs us that the laws have changed a little and he's not sure if they can arrest people for doing this anymore. But indicates that he hopes that he still can because he WILL in this case. We look in on the little girl and she seems to be fine. Then a JoAnn's employee comes out and asks if the officer wants them to make an announcement in the store to see who the Infiniti belongs to. The officer says, "YES!! Cuz I'd like to talk to them!!"
Anyway, they do that and a few minutes later, this lady strolls outside and looks upset that there are people standing around her car. And not just "people" but the police too. By now, another cop has come on the scene. The first one walks up to the lady and LET'S HER HAVE IT!!! Me and Trish decide we've done our civic duty and walk into the store and we're now out of it. We look out the window and it appears that the lady is trying to EXPLAIN why she left her child in a running car, which, as far as we know, has been 40 PLUS minutes!!! Obviously longer. She and the police "chatted" for quite some time. Neither of which looked very happy.
Now, I'm in the store and have NO CLUE as to why I went there in the first place...LOL! And a few minutes later, I notice that the lady has come in with the baby, makes her purchases and leaves...as if nothing ever happened.
Let me just say, that there is TOO much going on in the world these days to do something as stupid as this. I do understand that sometimes it can be a challenge and yes, sometimes even an inconvenience to take a child into a store. Especially a carseat aged child. But you know what? I'd rather suffer through that minor inconvenience than have something horrible happen to my child. What if she had choked on something? What if someone stole the vehicle? What IF.....
Ok, so I'm done now. But what are your thoughts? Would you have called the police? Should I have left the situation alone and not worry about it? For those of you who have children, how would you have handled this?
3 years ago