Shana Dees was running errands with her 10-month-old son Jack in New Tampa, Florida. Dees left her keys in the car with Jack while returning her shopping cart at a CVS pharmacy. But the son accidentally locked himself in the car, sitting alone in the midst of 96 degree heat. Without her keys, cell phone, or purse, Dees was frantic.
The mother begged a stranger to let her use his cell phone. Dees told the 911 dispatcher that her son was locked in the car in the parking lot.
MOM: "It is so hot outside. I'm really concerned, like I don't think I have time to call AAA before he would suffer heat exhaustion. Can somebody come out and open the door? I don't even know if that is something you guys do.'
The dispatcher's response was shocking.
DISPATCHER: "They won't be able to try to gain access (to the) car unless the child is in some kind of distress and, well, by that point they may just smash your windows," the dispatcher told Dees. The call then went silent. You can listen to both calls below.
It was only until an off-duty police officer called 911 again eight minutes later, where a second dispatcher reported that emergency officials would come to help Dees and her son. But a customer at CVS opted to break the car window with a wrench instead before emergency officials arrived. You can listen to both 911 calls below.
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The Tampa Bay Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident, stating that the dispatcher should have kept the mother on the line and will likely be disciplined for his actions. But Dees is still thankful for those who were able to help save Jack.
"I would like to say thank you to them, to the man who let me use his phone, to the officer that was able to get the police out there," Dees told WFTS, ABC affiliate in Tampa.
This past Summer has seen many incidents of young children and pets being locked in cars. In June, Justin Harris of Georgia was charged with murder after accidentally leaving his 22-month-old son locked in a car, resulting in the child's death.
WFTS, ABC affiliate in Tampa contributed to this report.