The manager of a Costco in Hackensack, New Jersey called police when shoppers alerted him to the child locked in a hot minivan in the parking lot, PIX 11 reported. By the time Sheriff Officers Richard Carrion and Sonya Bekier arrived on the scene there was a crowd of people trying to rescue the distressed 2-year-old girl. One person pulled out their cellphone to record the rescue attempts.
Carrion managed to shatter the window with his baton. Bekier, the mother of a toddler herself, scooped up the child and began to comfort her and give her water. The little girl was crying, exhausted and soaked in sweat. Temperatures in the area were in the high 80s all day.
As the officers started to run the van's plates Chaeyoung Lim-Kim, the girl's mother, came up to the van with another child and a cart full of groceries. She immediately began to apologize to the officers and reach for the girl, but Bekier wasn't interested in her excuses.
"No sorry. She could have died!" Bekier says in the video. She also keeps Lim-Kim from holding the girl. Leaving a child in a car can turn tragic very fast. At least 11 children have died this year of hyperthermia after being left in hot cars. On average, 38 kids die in hot cars in the US every year.
Lim-Kim was arrested and charged with child endangerment. After a short stay in the hospital the little girl was released to her father's custody.