Free Minds & Free Markets

Gust of Wind Traps Baby Inside Locked Car. Mom Calls 911 for Help. Mom Gets Ticketed by Police.

The frantic mother called 911 for help and the police gave her a ticket for suspicion of child abuse by neglect.

Omaha, Nebraska: A woman taking her niece out of the SUV after an outing to the pool was shocked when the wind blew the door shut with her keys and the child inside. The car automatically locked. The aunt, the girl's mom, and two other relatives frantically tried to get the door open using a hanger and screwdriver, and, when they couldn't, they called 911. The cops arrived, broke the window, and got the child out, safe and sound.

Then the cops ticketed the mom on suspicion of child abuse by neglect.

As The Omaha World-Herald reports:

Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman, said the ticket was not an overreaction by the officer who responded to the 911 call.

"We make decisions in the moment with all the information we have available,'' she said. "This can be a super dangerous situation. People die in these circumstances."

Children die when they are forgotten in cars, not when they are about to be taken out of cars, the wind slams the door shut, and the family immediately does everything humanly possible to get the door open quickly.

The girl, just shy of 2, was in the car for about 15 minutes. It was a 93-degree day, and 97 degrees in the un-air-conditioned car. The girl appeared warm to the paramedic—um, of course she'd be warm—so she was taken to the local hospital. She turned out to be fine.

The wind, by the way, was gusting up to 40 miles per hour that day.

To add insult to non-injury, Lt. Tierney is also quoted as reminding people that in a situation like this one, "Don't be afraid to call 911 for help."

Yeah, and be ready to call a defense lawyer, too.

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  • colorblindkid||

    36 kids died in cars last year. In a country of 325,000,000 people. More people died from Muslim terror attacks.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Plus, none of those dead kids was due to a 15 minutes scenario like this one.

  • SQRLSY One||

    If'n ye are tired of blow-hard politicians and "pubic servants"... Put on yer seatbelts, there's more of the same on the way!

    Now that precedent has been set, "pubic servants" will be setting traps for unwary parental bystanders with open doors and baby inside... Then the blow-hards will sneak up, and, um, blow hard! Slam that door shut, and feed more feedstock to the ever-hungry "justice system", AKA police-judges-lawyers-jails complex!

  • Tionico||

    How many of those died BECAUSE they were trapped inside and overheated in the sun? Or froze in the cold? COncurrence does not equal causation. Let's look at the breakdown of ACTUAL cause of death.

    If a child falls out of a tree in the yard and dies, but there is a pool in the yard, is that death attributed to the pool? XX children died last year in backyards with pools.
    Never mind XX/2 died from nothing to do with the pool being there......

    statistics can be made to say just about anything.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yo, fuck Lt. Tierney.

    Also, if you suspect a person of child neglect, why would you only give them a ticket? To answer my own question: Omaha PD gots to get paid, son.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    If one, just one, precious childrenz is saved from a quarter hour in hell by this fine being paid in full, every cop is a hero!

  • orwellsworld||

    Call a locksmith instead of 911, cheaper than lawyer and a new car window.

  • Juice||

    Yeah, no shit. What was she thinking?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    She probably actually believed all that "serve and protect" propaganda.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Call a locksmith instead of 911

    I've had to wait over 2 hours for a locksmith the one time I was dumb enough to lock the keys in my car. Apparently in 15 minutes the car had already heated up to 97 degrees. 2 hours would have been way too long to wait. Hell, 1 hour would have probably been too long for a less than 2 year old.

  • tommhan||

    I agree, just break your own window.

  • Tionico||

    towtruck drivers can get into almost any car WITHOUT breaking the window. They do it all the time when a car is on the side of the road, driver elsewhere, and it needs towed to the shop.

  • MichaelL||

    Great point. I learned how to get in a locked car working with my dad and uncle. (and we never had slim Jims That would have been easier!) I used the techniques several times since becoming a surgeon! ....(;-P...I always was absent minded, though!

  • Trainer||

    Why didn't they break the window themselves? Did they think cops have a special ability to get into these theft proof cars without breaking windows?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Yes,, that's exactly what they thought and in a sane world, one should expect that a cop who has seen this scenario many times just might have a unique solution based on wisdom and experience. And in a sane world it would be a smart move because failing all else, the worst that could happen would be the cops end up breaking the window anyway, but hopefully in a experienced and wise way.

    However, here in bizarro world.....

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Why didn't they break the window themselves?

    I was wondering that myself. Next time (if there is a next time) that's probably what they'll do. I know it's what I would do. Then give the child some cold water, wipe her head with a damp wash cloth, and not go the hospital because the hospital would probably feel duty bound to report them to the cops.

  • Trainer||

    Not just feel duty bound but legally required to report them.

  • LarryA||

    Why didn't they break the window themselves?

    Because then they would have been arrested for burglary.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Never call the police.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Never call the police! Break the window yourself, if you cannot get in.

    This person now has to pay for a new window, cost of the ticket and potentially has to deal with child protective services.


  • Cynical Asshole||

  • ||

    The girl, just shy of 2, was in the car for about 15 minutes. It was a 93-degree day, and 97 degrees in the un-air-conditioned car. The girl appeared warm to the paramedic—um, of course she'd be warm—so she was taken to the local hospital. She turned out to be fine.

    Also, in addition to the police, it seems like a good idea to avoid Omaha paramedics and proceed straight to local hospital. So, the next time it hits 97 degrees in Omaha, the local hospital will be overrun by the legion of children who'd played outside for >15 min.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Also, in addition to the police, it seems like a good idea to avoid Omaha paramedics and proceed straight to local hospital.

    Or give the kid some cool water to drink, wipe her forehead and face with a damp washcloth or paper towel, and keep her out of the sun for a little while. If a few minutes at 97 degrees is enough to kill an infant, then how does any child born in Phoenix ever survive?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Arizonans aren't born, they're hatched.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    10 miles from water and 10 feet from hell.

    gotta be strong to live here.

  • Rhywun||

    I'm middle aged and I couldn't survive in Phoenix.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Then the cops ticketed the mom on suspicion of child abuse by neglect."

    No frickin' way "suspicion of abuse by neglect" is a statute or ordinance. Can that really be the charge? I'm trying to imagine how that would be codified.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I'm trying to imagine how that would be codified.


  • Stoic||

    How can getting a ticket for "suspicion of" anything be legit?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Because fuck you, that's how.

  • lap83||

    A woman taking her niece out of the SUV after an outing to the pool was shocked when the wind blew the door shut with her keys and the child inside.

    The story seems a bit weird to me. Did the wind lock the doors too?

    Anyway, even if she accidentally locked her kid in the car that still doesn't mean she should be ticketed.

  • Jgalt1975||

    It said the doors locked automatically. I'm not familiar with the model of vehicle at issue here, but mine will automatically lock the doors under some sequence of turning the vehicle off, opening and closing doors, etc. (I know this because I locked my keys inside once, but fortunately the windows were down far enough that I could reach in to unlock the vehicle from the inside.)

  • Henry||

    So the car was "smart enough" to lock the doors "for" you, but not smart enough to recognize that the keys were still in the car. Man, I just can't WAIT until these m**f***s are finally smart enough to drive me around all by themselves. I'll be toting a pickhammer and a scuba tank everywhere.

  • Tionico||

    many car manufacturers these days have taken it upon themselves to equip their cars to lock the doors automatically as soon as they close. Some wait until the engine is running and the greabox is put into gear. Or till the car reaches some very slow speed.

    Its all stupidity. I don't WANT my doors all locked all the time, stupid!!! If I do, I'm perfectly capable of locking them myseld, with MY OWN HAND, thanks all the same.

    I won't have a car that makes decisions for me without asking.

  • misthiocracy||

    Wait a minute.

    They suspected her of child abuse and they only gave her a ticket?

    I'm calling shenanigans on that one.

    If they REALLY suspected her of child abuse they would have arrested her, not merely issued a ticket.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Yeah, come to think of it I've worked in medical field most of my life and dealt with a lot of situations involving abuse and neglect, but I've never heard of anyone being "ticketed" for such an offense. Tickets are for speeding and such while abuse is a criminal violation.

  • Henry||

    No, see, it the charge had been child abuse by neglect, they would have arrested her. But she only committed SUSPICION of neglect, so they took her money instead. It's because of the double secret probation rule. Try to keep up.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Good thing the family dog wasn't in the car...

  • AZ Gunowner||

    they'd have shot it.

  • Von||

    Why am I not surprised that a Nebraska law enforcement would take that path... beyond common sense... Can you say police state anything for an arrest...

  • tommhan||

    So much for calling the police for help since we presume they are public servants. Next time break your own window.

  • frankania||

    I always have a spare key hidden under my car with a twisted wire....try it, it is cheap and you always have access.....

  • Tionico||

    I'lll never own a car that locks itself automatically. If I do, I'll deactivate that system.

    When your keys are locked inside, along with a child or not, DO NOT call the cops... you are then NOT in control Yes, you pay their salary, but they take that money and do with it as THEY please, not as you please.

    Nope, call a locksmith, towtruck, Auto Club, maybe even a cabbie. THEY will take your money ONLY after doing ONLY what you want them to do. Added bonus, none of them can write you a ticket.

    Thought the coppers are there to protect and serve, not collect revenue... silly me.

  • patskelley||

    Uhhh, break your own damn window, save your own kid and leave authorities out of it.

  • Tionico||

    I always carry a spare key inside my walled, and another in one of myb pockets..... pretty hard to lock myself out of MY cars. I really have to work at it.

    HOW did I learn this? Years ago I joined some folks for a beach hike. Parked the car, put the ONLY key in existence for it in my jeans coin pocket... ten miles later, after a fine walk down the beach and back, came to the car and...... coin pocket was empty. Oh my.....

    Doors were unlocked (nothing inside to steal, the car was a wreck so no one would steal that, either), so I removed the glove box key mechanism, brought that to a locksmith, and had him cut a new key based on that lock. THEN had him make two spares. Never locked out since then, and that was decades ago now.

  • Henry||

    How old is your car? They fixed the wallet trick by ensuring that every new car key in existence has a grip end no smaller than a kielbasa.

  • 9thGateKeeper||


    1) You shoot and kill a burglar who breaks into your home; Don't call 911, call a trusted friend and tell him to bring a shovel.

  • RichmondAtty||

    In Virginia last week, the Henrico police had a very different reaction in the exact same fact pattern.

  • Malvolio||

    Brendan Behan said, "I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse." I don't think that's true, but I think I'm wrong.

  • Galane||

    Sounds like another person too stupid to be a police officer.

  • jerbigge||

    Call a locksmith, not the police.

  • Frank Thorn||

    "No charges against Rome NY cop whose baby died after being left in car for 8-plus hours"

  • AZ Gunowner||

    shiny badges have all sorts of powers.

  • IMissLiberty||

    When asked by police whose child it is, politely refuse to answer.

  • IMissLiberty||

    With that many adults, they could shade the car with a tarp while they work on it. Maybe borrow some sun-shades for the windshield. It doesn't take much to substantially reduce the danger.

  • mockmock||

    The child was taken to a hospital... what do you suppose that cost?

  • Grumpy Old Guy||

    Never call the police. Break the damned window yourself, or better yet, call Triple-A.

    The police are not your friends. They serve the agenda of your political masters, not yours.

  • EvilWayz||

    "We're from the government, and we're here to help."

  • Johnimo||

    OK, all you idiots out there, listen up. Take a dummy key for your car and duct tape it somewhere on the exteriror of the car (inside a whell well, inside the little slots on the luggage rack, or on the underside of the bumper) and this will never happen to you.

    In Montana it's really COLD in the Winter and I must not return to the auto, after x-country skiing and close to sundown, finding myself unable to enter the car. With no one around, these situations can be extremely inconvenient at best, and fatal at worst. This is not rocket science, hide a key SOMEWHERE on the exterior of the car. The easiest solution is to use duct tape to wrap the key to one of the car's transaxels. Grow up! Take responsibility for you and your passengers!

  • Daily Beatings||

    You don't need duct tape for this. Just buy a magnetic key case. I bought a two pack of them at the local dollar store.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Break you own gd window. You don't need the cops for that. Plus they probably won't show up in time to save your baby anyway. Then they'd charge you with murder.

  • m.EK||

    Just go to court for the ticket. State your case. Have your witnesses and the weather report. Have the "officer" sit on the witness stand and explain his case to the judge.
    If after all that, the judge convicts you, then there must be more to the case than we were told or the "thin blue line" can be utilized with some of the "freedom movement" organizations that like to contest this sort of thing. Same with the "news" channels that on the local side like to promote how civic conscious they are.
    if we don't challenge authority on the local level, we can't challenge it on the State or Federal level.

  • Cloudbuster||

    The cops arrived, broke the window, and got the child out, safe and sound.

    Only the cops are professional enough to be able to break a car window. Let that be a lesson. Next time, break your own window and leave the cops out of it.


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