Baby locked in car, mom claims dispatcher hung up without helping her

Posted at 2:30 PM, Aug 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-26 16:30:11-04

NEW TAMPA, Fla. – A 10-month-old Florida boy accidentally became trapped inside a hot car and his mother says she got a surprising response when she called 911 for help.

“And that’s what was the scariest part, watching him change and get obviously, much, much hotter,” said Shana Dees.

All Shana Dees needed was bleach and bottled water but this mom’s quick trip to the local CVS ended with her baby trapped in her car.

Jack, who is 10-months-old, likes to play with just about anything he can get his hands on, including car keys.

Saturday, Dees put him in his car seat and closed the car door to put away a shopping cart.

She had no idea her little one had stolen her car keys.

“And in those three seconds when I was moving the cart, he hit the lock button,” she said.

The black Acura wasn’t running and temperatures were nearing triple digits.

“I went around and I am pulling on all different doors, trying to get one to open,” she said.

Panicked, she begged a passerby for a phone and called police.

However, the dispatcher didn’t send help.

“They won’t be able to kind of gain access to the car unless the child is in some sort of distress,” the dispatcher is heard saying on the 911 call.

At that point, the dispatcher ended the call.

“The dispatcher absolutely made a mistake, this is not the way we do business,” said Laura McElroy, with the Tampa Police Department.

Eight minutes went by before an off-duty officer made a second 911 call.

With Jack now in the car 10 minutes, help was finally on the way.

Before police could get there, another Good Samaritan broke the car’s left passenger window with a wrench.

“I’d like to say thank you to them, to the man that let me use his phone, to the retired officer that was able to get the police out there. They were the first responders that day,” Dees said.

Tampa police have launched an investigation into the actions of the dispatcher.