A Florida police officer has been hailed as a hero after breaking a car window to rescue a 1-year-old who was accidentally locked inside a vehicle without its engine running. On May 20, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) received an emergency call, reporting a child locked in a car outside a Walmart in Palm Coast. Upon arrival, deputies found a man and a woman standing outside a Nissan Altima. The man revealed that he had placed the toddler inside the car before realizing the keys and the door were locked, trapping the child inside.

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The authorities reported that the child had been sweating and appearing to be in distress while trapped inside the car for eight to ten minutes before the help arrived. Though the child’s mother pleaded with the officer not to smash the car’s window, Deputy Christian Harrison, the first responder at the site, quickly assessed the situation and decided to break the car’s window to rescue the toddler using the agency-issued shatter balls.

After breaking the back passenger’s window with his shatter balls, Harrison quickly removed the child from the car, using his collapsible baton to clear the rest of the shattered window, before passing the toddler to the waiting arms of the paramedics, who assessed the child’s state of health.

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Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly highlighted the dangers of leaving children inside parked cars. He said, “Although this was an accident, I would like to take this time to remind parents of the dangers of leaving a child in a parked car at any time, especially if it is not running. Heatstroke can happen very quickly, even if it does not seem that hot outside. Remember, if it has a heartbeat, do not leave them in your car.”

The man, who received a citation from the authorities for attaching an unassigned tag/registration decal, was not related to the incident of the child being locked in the car, FCSO explained. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office retweeted the body camera footage of the incident, calling Harrison’s quick thinking a “life-saving” act and reminding parents of the dangers of leaving their children inside locked cars.

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