The father of the child had accidentally locked the keys to the truck inside the vehicle, ABC reported. It was an unusual incident that took place in New Port Richey on Feb. 14 and was captured on camera and shared on social media.
Five prisoners, supervised by deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, were on a work detail, fixing medians outside the West Pasco Judicial Center when they reportedly spotted a crowd gathering around a vehicle and a man—later identified as the child’s father—beginning to panic.
‘Do the Right Thing’
It is unclear who suggested that the inmates provide assistance, but Pasco County Sheriff Chis Nocco described them as “low-risk offenders” who wanted “to do the right thing.”
“A lot of them, like these individuals, they know they made bad mistakes, bad choices, but they want to do the right thing in life,” Nocco said, according to ABC.
“This was a weird day man,” wrote Shadow Lantry in a caption to the video posted on Facebook, which shows a group of inmates in prison attire standing near the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Pasco Sheriff's Office lol this was a weird day man.
Gepostet von Shadow Lantry am Donnerstag, 14. Februar 2019
An unnamed individual can be seen in the footage bending what was said to be a wire coat hanger, while a voice identified in the report as belonging to one of the deputies can be heard telling the father to “pop his head in the window” once in a while, so the baby doesn’t get scared by all the strange faces.
As the inmates worked to pop the lock, the person recording the video walked closer to the window to see how the child was doing, and a female voice can be heard asking, “Is she ok in there?”
‘This Is Hilarious’
Footage shows the baby calmly sitting in the back seat, sucking on a soother.
“Thank God you guys were coming out with a hanger,” the female voice exclaimed, later adding, “this is hilarious. It’s not funny about the baby, but everything else is hilarious.”
It took about two minutes for the inmates to open the door, triggering the alarm—and celebratory whoops from the crowd of onlookers.
“Nice job, boys!” someone exclaimed.
“[We were] surprised when somebody had a wire coat hanger, [and] we were able to get the door open enough to get it in there, unlock the door,” Richard Stanger, from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, told Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS.
The woman recording the incident then pans over to the sobbing child, asking “Was that stressful?” before adding “These good people helped us, and the prisoners.”
‘A Really Scary Moment’
The incident recalls the case of a Lyft driver who on Feb. 12 rescued a toddler who had been wandering alone in the rain in a Santa Rosa, California, apartment complex parking lot.
Del Hedrick told ABC affiliate KGO that he had just dropped off a passenger when he spotted the baby wandering in the frigid temperatures.
“I see a baby, right in front of the car!” he said, according to the report. “Rain is pouring, it’s 40 degrees outside and I froze. It was scary. It was a really scary moment.”
Hedrick scooped up the toddler and went knocking on doors to try and find the parents.
“She was barefoot, soaking wet, onesie soaking, wet hair, full diaper—yeah, it was heartbreaking,” he said, according to ABC. Unable to locate the parents, he took the child into his car, turned up the heat to warm up the chilled toddler, and called the police.
Hedrick shot video of the incident, which was later posted by Santa Rosa Police.
Police praised Hedrick as a “community hero,” and said in the post that his “actions demonstrate how we all work together to keep our community safe.”