“I want people to be more aware of their surroundings,” couple rescues child from hot car

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PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KNWA) — A baby is recovering in the hospital after being rescued from a hot car.

Karlee Mae Spear and Ashlee Jean Danley face charges of endangering the welfare of a minor.

Police say they said they forgot about the baby and are remorseful.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon at a neighborhood market in Pea Ridge.

Police say customers ended up busting out the car window to get to the child.

They say the child was unresponsive and had to be cooled inside the Walmart.

According to Lt. Michael Lisenbee with the Pea Ridge Police Department, Arkansas has no laws that specifically say leaving a child unattended in a car is illegal.

However, leaving a child in a car without the air conditioning running or just leaving the car running itself presents a danger.

Depending on the situation, various criminal charges like endangering the welfare of a minor can be applicable.

Regardless of the situation, medical services need to be called first.

In Sunday’s Pea Ridge rescue, bystander Michelle Holt and her husband, Nate, rescued the baby.

“I want people to be more aware of their surroundings. I think that is some of the issue we have, people want to mind their own business. In most cases, you should. But if you’re walking through the parking lot just walk around, if you see something that looks suspicious call it out, and if you see a baby in a car I wouldn’t worry about a charge or anything. Get the baby out,” Holt said.

Holt may be protected from any charges herself by the state’s Good Samaritan law.

They protect people who in good faith lend emergency care or assistance at the scene from being held liable.

That’s as long as the actions were not willful misconduct or grossly negligent.

That is left up to the judge in a civil court to rule upon.

As far as breaking a window to get to a child, liability is determined on a case-by-case basis.

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