Proposed bill would allow breaking into hot vehicles to save kids, pets

(WDTN Photo/Chris Smith)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A proposed bill would create legal protections for anyone who breaks into a hot vehicle to save a child or a pet.

In cases of emergencies, it would allow people to force their way into a locked vehicle if police are not able to get there on time.

(Photo: :Montgomery County Jail)
Raymond Hill (Photo: Montgomery County Jail)

On Wednesday, a child was fortunate he was spotted by law enforcement after being left alone inside a vehicle. 33-year-old Raymond Hill was arrested for child endangering.

“It’s the only thing you’ve got in this world when you’ve got nothing else,” said Sgt. Aaron Fraley with the Dayton Police Department.

Dayton police were called around 2:45 p.m. to the corner of East Fourth St. near South Main St. after a deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office spotted the child.

2 NEWS cameras were rolling when police rescued the three-year-old boy from inside the car which only had a window cracked for air.

After calling Dayton police, the deputy was able to open the window more to get some more air into the vehicle.

The child was awake and alert when he was taken out of the car to Dayton Children’s with non-life threatening injuries.

His father was arrested for child endangering.

“I think common sense would show anybody that leaving a three-year-old child alone is not the best idea,” said Fraley. ”

Wednesday’s temperature was in the 80’s. Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Davis said it is the warmest day we’ve seen all month.

It was a situation experts at Dayton Children’s said could have been much worse under the right circumstances.

“A child’s body is going to get hotter three to five times hotter than an adult’s body,” said Jessica Saunders with Dayton Children’s. “So even if it feels like, ‘Oh, I can handle this.’ A child may not be able to.”

It is something lawmakers in Ohio are hoping to provide help with.

A proposed bill would grant protection for anyone who breaks into a vehicle to save a child or a pet, but only under certain circumstances.

The person must call 911, check to see if the door is unlocked, and, if they feel like it is an emergency, they can break into the vehicle.

“If you see a child in a hot car, act,” said Saunders. “Do something about it right away. Call 911. Break the window because you never know how long that child’s been in the car.”

According to Dayton Children’s, eight children have died across the country after being left in a hot vehicle. Since 1998, more than 600 kids have died from the same circumstances.

The proposed bill to protect those who break into hot vehicles to save a child or a pet is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

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