CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained video revealing the rescue of children left in a hot SUV for hours, and it shows the search for the mother. And, we’ve uncovered the story behind it.
It happened last month along West 25th Street in Cleveland, and the video has just been released to the I-Team.
Police got a 911 call from an off-duty officer.
He said, “A parent left her kids unoccupied in a car, in the hot car.” A dispatcher reacts with, “Oh, my goodness.”
A report says people in a parking lot noticed kids left alone in an SUV in the hot sun, and one child could be heard screaming out a cracked window.
“The little girl was hanging out the window screaming for her mom,” A witness told officers as they arrived. “So, I’m a parent, so I walked up to the car to make sure there was nobody in the car with them.”
The witnesses had opened the car door, and the first officer there said to the kids, “Hi. You guys, OK?” And, a little voice responds with, “Yeah.”
Police say they found little girls ages 2 and 5 years old, and they’d been in that car for three and a half hours. Records show the mother had been in a medical facility donating plasma.
A worker at the facility told police, “Been in here for at least two hours.”
As officers piece things together, one says, “Been here since 7:30.” And, another responds incredulously, “Been here since 7:30?”
When the mother showed up, she turned away from an officer trying to explain the situation.
The officer said, “The vehicle was turned off with the windows up … and the kids … Bystanders were able to open the door … get the kids some water.”
The officer added, “It’s hot outside. You know what I mean?” Then, the mother responds with, simply, “Oh, you mean? … OK.”
Police say the kids had been left inside with the front windows cracked about 3 inches, plus, the keys had been left in the ignition. A report says the temperature that day was about 79 degrees. But, as we’ve shown you countless times, temperatures inside a car left with the windows up can get dangerous quickly.
Police arrested Tomesha Massey and charged her with child endangering. She’s pleading not guilty in court.
We went to her home and tried reaching her by phone for comment, but we had no luck.
While the witnesses couldn’t believe they found kids alone in that SUV, Massey couldn’t believe she got handcuffed.
She said, “I’m getting arrested?” And, “I’m getting detained?”
Cuyahoga County child welfare workers have also now gotten involved. The county says the kids, for now, have been placed with a relative out of state.