Mom locks baby in car, Waterford 911 refuses to send police
WATERFORD, Mich. (WJBK) - Lacey Guyton clings to her 2-month-old daughter - thinking about what could have happened to Raina Saturday afternoon.
The infant was accidentally locked in a hot car, and 911 was unwilling to send police or fire.
"It was terrifying. It was like the worst day of my life," said Guyton. "I was so, like, shocked, [thinking] they aren't coming; I have to get her out of here. Nobody's coming to help me."
She had been visiting her grandparents in Waterford. It was time to leave and she put Raina in her car seat and then the car doors inexplicably locked. The keys were inside - and so was the baby. And it was a hot August afternoon.
Immediately Lacey grabbed a chunk of asphalt and tried to break the window while her grandmother called 911.
911 call: "My granddaughter just put her baby in the car and the car door locked and we can't get in it," said grandmother Mary Riley.
911 dispatcher: "We don't unlock vehicles unfortunately."
"We don't unlock cars unfortunately," said Chief Scott Underwood, Waterford police.
The dispatcher said she would transfer them to a tow company. But this wasn't any car - this was a car with a 2-month-old baby inside.
She says, 'Ma'am we can't unlock cars or break windows,'" said Riley. "And then you feel so helpless. All the help we think we were going to get - the only help we were going to get - we don't have it."
"She said we have to call a tow company," Guyton said. "I'm like, grandma, we don't have time to call a tow company. Like I don't know how many minutes I have, until she's passing out."
Unable to break the window, Guyton called 911 again and reached the same dispatcher.
911 call: "Can you send the fire department to come break my window open, I just need it open," Guyton said.
911 dispatcher: "I could send a wrecker service, they will charge you, but the fire department doesn't come out for that."
"I keep checking on her - she's screaming at this point - making herself even more hot," Guyton said. "And she again tells me we have to call a tow company, they don't come out for that - and then she transferred me to a tow company."
Finally, Guyton used a tool to break out the back window and rescue her baby.
"She was really sweaty, screaming, and just drenched in sweat," Guyton said. "She was probably in there like 10 minutes, so we immediately got her out, got her inside, cooled her down."
"It's the most helpless feeling to see your great grandbaby in there crying and drenched in sweat," Riley said. "We want this corrected. We don't want anybody to lose their baby because this wasn't taken care of for us."
The chief of Waterford police agrees. He apologized to the family and said this was definitely a mistake.
"It's a common sense issue," Chief Scott Underwood said. "You call 911, you expect for somebody to come and give you some help, and we certainly should have gone and done that. We made a mistake and we need to fix that."
The chief says it was a veteran dispatcher, someone who really should have known better. Underwood said she will face some disciplinary action and that everyone will have more training on how to handle a call like this.
"I do appreciate their apology," Guyton said. "But it's not something that needs any training to know it's common sense. You send help when someone is begging you to come help them save their child out of a hot car.
"It's just something anybody should have known. It's common sense."