SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – So far, 12 children have died this summer from being left alone in hot cars. This past week, one man in Texas helped a young girl avoid that fate by smashing her car with a tire iron to get her out.
“If I see a baby alone in the car I’ll break a window, I really don’t care,” says Iris Gonzales from Springfield. “And I’ll just tell them I’ll pay for it, but come on now.”
But for many other people, breaking a window to rescue a child isn’t an easy decision.
Stephanie Drost of West Springfield says, “I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that, just because I wouldn’t want the glass to kind of compact and break on the child and hurt them.”
If you do need to break a window, it’s important to pick the window that isn’t next to the child. You can also use an emergency window break, a special tool. If you see that a child is unresponsive, you take the window break and apply pressure at the corners of the windows. With the tool, the glass doesn’t fly towards the child or you.
But residents say breaking a window can be scary for other reasons.
“You have a crazy parent come out and want to try and assault you because you broke their window,” says Robin Lopez from Springfield.
West Springfield Police Chief Ron Campurciani says you should always call 9-1-1 and only break a window if or when the child appears to be unresponsive. Chief Campurciani also says that although the owner of the car could be upset, most police departments would not press charges.