HOWELL, N.J. (AP/KDKA) – Police say a man used a sledgehammer to rescue a baby from a hot car at a New Jersey shopping center.
Police say 53-year-old Steve Eckel of Jackson and 30-year-old Sarah Mazzone of Howell on Tuesday saw the 4-month-old girl crying and sweating alone inside the vehicle, which was locked and its windows closed. Temperatures were in the upper 80s.
According to CBS New York station WCBS-TV, he raced back to his car after remembering that he had a sledge hammer in his trunk.
Eckel broke the front passenger window, and Mazzone carried the infant into an air-conditioned store.
“It was well over 120 degrees in that car,” Steve Eckel said. “Just think of what could have happened.”
The baby was beet red and sweating profusely, but she was alive.
“I almost started to cry, I got really emotional at that point,” he said.
The child’s mother approached the vehicle in a panic and police determined the baby was left in the vehicle for about 40 minutes.
Police charged 33-year-old Karen Gruen of Lakewood with child endangerment. It’s not known if she has a lawyer.
Police say the baby appeared fine after she cooled down.
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