Michigan mother breaks into her own car to rescue locked baby after 911 refused to send help
“I didn’t have time to wait for a tow company as my baby is screaming and getting hotter in the car,” wrote Lacey Guyton, who broke into her own car after 911 refused to send help.
A Michigan mother is making headlines after facing her worst nightmare and having to break into her own car to save her baby after a 911 dispatcher refused to send emergency responders out to help her.
The incident happened last Saturday, when Lacey Guyton and her 2-month-old daughter, Raina, were visiting Guyton’s grandmother in Waterford, she wrote in a detailed Facebook status posted on Tuesday. While getting ready to head back home, Guyton put Raina into her car seat and also put a diaper bag in the car, then shut the door. As Guyton walked around to the driver’s seat she heard the doors of her Dodge minivan lock. That’s when she realized her keys were inside the diaper bag beside her daughter. While she had the fob key, the minivan’s doors would still not open.
Worried for her baby, Guyton had her grandmother call 911 while she grabbed a chunk of asphalt and tried to smash a window, but to no avail. Her grandfather gave her a window breaker but she was unable to break the glass. As People notes, temperatures in the area reached 84 degrees on Saturday.
Meanwhile, as baby Raina cried inside the vehicle, the 911 dispatcher reportedly told Guyton’s grandmother that the police department does not send anyone to break windows or unlock vehicles and therefore she could not help. Instead, the dispatcher offered to give her the number to a towing company. “My heart sank,” Guyton wrote in her post.
“I didn’t have time to wait for a tow company as my baby is screaming and getting hotter in the car,” she wrote. “So I called 911 back and told her again my 2-month-old is locked in a hot car and asked her to PLEASE send a fire rescue just to smash my window.”
Again, the dispatcher said she would not send anyone but she could transfer Guyton to a local towing company. Feeling defeated, Guyton decided to ask the towing company to come while she tried to break the glass, only to realize that Raina had stopped crying and was beginning to close her eyes.
"At this point I didn’t know if she was going to sleep or if my baby was dying,” Guyton wrote. “Realizing no emergency help is coming to save my baby was the worst feeling in the world.” With hope slipping away from her fingers, Guyton circled back to the rear of the minivan and in desperation, tried to smash the rear windshield. On the second attempt, the glass shattered and she was able to get inside and rescue Raina.
“I’ve never felt more relieved,” Guyton wrote. “It was the most traumatic 15 minutes of my entire life and we are so thankful our daughter is okay.” Twelve minutes after Guyton had rescued Raina, personnel from the towing company arrived, she wrote.
Waterford Police Chief Scott Underwood called Guyton to apologize and on Wednesday released a statement to ABC News:
“While it is true we do not normally respond when people lock their keys in their vehicle and we do offer to contact a wrecker service for them, this is a completely different situation. We should have responded in this case and we should respond in any similar case when there is a concern for the health, safety or welfare of any person, especially a young child.”
“We acknowledge our mistake and are doing everything we can to make sure we do not repeat it,” Underwood said in the statement. “We will learn from this and correct the problem.”
Waterford assured Guyton that the dispatcher, who has been with the dispatch call center for several years, was going to receive more training, but Guyton's feelings were made quite clear when she wrote, “No one should need any training at all to know that you need to send help in that situation.”
According to the report by People, Underwood has since come to Guyton’s home to personally apologize for the incident and has also offered to pay for the windshield.