Two parents are facing charges for leaving their 8-month-old baby alone in a hot car while they went furniture shopping, and an off-duty sheriff's deputy is being called a hero for rescuing the baby.
The massive security camera network at Nebraska Furniture Mart captured the disturbing scene on Saturday, Aug. 1.
The store’s security team was able to determine exactly when two adults parked the vehicle and got out to go inside to shop.
Concerned shoppers gathered the gray SUV that the baby was in during near 100-degree weather with the windows rolled up.
It was later revealed off-duty Kaufman County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Slater noticed the child alone inside the hot SUV and broke the window with a pocket knife to get the baby out.
Recorded video then shows the baby being placed into a nearby red vehicle with air conditioning running.
The parents arrived about ten minutes later, explaining to police that they had been caught up in the swirl of moving to a new house and simply forgot about the baby.
They were clearly distraught.
Police believe it was an accident but, “We're all busy, we have a lot of things going on, but your child should be your number one priority, especially a child that's 8 months old,” said Lt. Darren Brockway with The Colony Police Department. “To leave ‘em in a vehicle on a hot summer day just because you forgot about ‘em is really incomprehensible."
Patrick William Long, 29, was arrested on the scene and charged with abandoning/endangering a child.
The baby’s mother, Stephanie Long, was allowed to follow her baby to the hospital. Police have since issued a warrant for her arrest on the same charge.