An alert Law Enforcement officer rescued a toddler locked in a hot car during a road running race in the city centre on Sunday.
Cape Town – An alert Law Enforcement officer rescued a toddler locked in a hot car during a road running race in the city centre on Sunday.
As hundreds of people took part in the Slave Route Challenge, Inspector Kevin Baker kept his eyes and ears on the ground.
“Before the race at 7.30am, I saw this woman and child standing next to a vehicle on the corner of Darling and Canterbury Street,” he explains.
“I remember asking them to move to the pavement as the race was about to start.”
He says later, the pair was gone but he noticed movement inside the Tata Indica and to his shock, found the three-year-old boy on his own.
“This child was alone and the windows were rolled up.
“One window was only open wide enough for me to stick my finger in, force it down and get the child out.
“The little boy had a backpack on. No water, no food. I stood there for about an hour, checking if someone was coming to get this child, but no one came.
“I bought him food and something to drink and he was clinging onto me.
“The caregiver eventually came and said the child’s father was in the race, and his mother lived in Port Elizabeth.
“I asked why she left him unsupervised and locked in a car, it is illegal. I took her to Cape Town SAPS and registered a case,” Baker says.
SAPS’ FC van Wyk says the incident is being investigated by Cape Town FCS unit: “Law Enforcement opened a case of Child Abandonment after a 19-year-old woman left a three-year-old child in a locked vehicle to go to the bathroom. No arrest was made.”
Baker says a couple of hours later, he was deployed to Camps Bay beach, and could not believe his eyes when he found a similar scenario.
He says a man flagged him down and took him to the parking lot of the Pick ‘n Pay where he found five kids locked up in an Opel Corsa bakkie.
“The parents had gone shopping. It was 28°C and they were in the back, which had a canopy on,” says Baker.
“The children were going on, the windows had burglar bars on, the door had a chain and padlock on.
“The parents were taken to the police station in Camps Bay and were let off with a warning.”