SOUTH BRUNSWICK — A mom who thought she had left her 18-month-old in the car with the air conditioner running was horrified to return and find the engine had stopped and that her keys were locked inside.

Despite purposely leaving her child in a car during a sweltering 90-degree day for nearly half an hour, police told New Jersey 101.5 that they will not charge her with a crime because the mother was "distraught and realized the mistake she made," a police spokesman said Thursday.

Temperatures were over 90 degrees Thursday morning when the mother stopped at the Nassau Square townhouse complex to drop off something at a friend's house just 10 feet from where she parked her Honda CRV, according to police.

The mother called police when she realized she couldn't get into the vehicle.

Police smashed the rear passenger window and took the crying toddler out of their car seat and cooled the child down with water. The child was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for an evaluation.

The child was in the car for an estimated 20 minutes, according to police.

Police did not disclose the identities of the parent or child nor the child's gender.

“In this heat it will only take minutes for someone left inside a vehicle to suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke. In this case officers were able to quickly intervene and rescue this child," Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in a statement.

The incident in this Middlesex County township comes a week after Newark's public safety director scolded a mother for leaving her sleeping 2-year-old inside a car that was stolen while she was carting groceries into a home.

Last year, police charged a Lakewood teacher for leaving her baby wrapped in a blanket in a hot car while she shopped at a department store in Howell. This year, the woman was accepted into the court's pre-trial intervention program, which will allow her to avoid a conviction record or jail time.

 

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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