A firefighter broke into a car parked at a Queens shopping plaza yesterday because a four-year-old boy was distressed due to the heat inside the vehicle, the FDNY said. The boy was rescued and taken to a hospital in stable condition.
Firefighter Matthew Clinton, 29, was taking a break when he noticed the boy inside the vehicle parked on 20th Avenue near 132nd Street in College Point on Thursday afternoon.
"The kid was screaming that it was hot. You could see sweat on his face,"Clinton said. "I told him that I'm a Firefighter. Dispatch was called, and I asked someone in the crowd to get me something to break the window with. I broke the driver's side window and unlocked the doors. We got the kid out, and within a couple minutes NYPD showed up."
The boy's father, Geremie Ram, 42, showed up later. Clinton told the Post that the father did "look very concerned." Ram, who claimed he left the boy in the car for 15 minutes while making returns at Target, was charged with reckless endangerment and acting in a manner dangerous to a child, as well as criminal possession of a controlled substance for Xanax.
The FDNY said, "FDNY urges New Yorkers to NEVER leave children alone in a car on a warm day, even if you think the temperature outside isn’t hot enough to cause harm. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the inside temperature of a car - regardless of whether the windows are closed or partially open - can rise as much as 40 degrees within one hour, even if the exterior temperature is only in the low 70s. The majority of the temperature rise occurs within the first 15-30 minutes, and no amount of shade is enough to protect children from these dangers. To help you remember that children are in the backseat of your car, place a much-needed item, like a cell phone or your shoe, with them in the backseat. If you see a child alone in a car on a hot day, call 911. See more #FDNYSmart info at fdnysmart.org "
Last month, one-year-old twin siblings died after their father left them in the car for eight hours while he went to work in the Bronx.