Couple Rescues Baby Left Inside Car At Owasso Walmart
OWASSO, Oklahoma - A Talala mother accused of child abuse is in jail, after her 1-year-old daughter was rescued from a hot car in the Owasso Walmart parking lot by a couple walking by.
They said an hour passed from the time they got the little girl out of the car until the mother came out of the store.
Chrysty and Jay said they heard a sound, like a whimper or a child's toy, as they walked out of the Owasso Walmart. They decided to stop, and when they looked into one of the car windows, they found a child inside.
They said the driver’s door was unlocked, so they pulled the baby and car seat out, started fanning her and called 911.
Dash-cam video from an Owasso officer's squad car captured the moment the child’s mother, Hannah Secondi, saw paramedics and police near her van with her 1-year-old daughter inside.
Reports say Secondi had been in the store about an hour, but witnesses said, by then, the baby was burning up.
"She was just really red. She wasn't making any sounds, wasn't crying, was just really lethargic and dripping in sweat,” Chrysty said. “It's like you dunked a kid in a swimming pool and put them in a car seat - her diaper was wet, that's how soaked she was. It was bad."
Chrysty and her boyfriend, Jay, were leaving the store when they heard a sound from the van and saw the little girl inside.
"How in this day and age does someone do that? I'm 30 and I've heard that from childhood, ‘don't leave a baby in the car,’" Jay said.
Research says the temperature in a car can go up about 20 degrees in the first ten minutes, more than 30 degrees in a half hour and more than 40 degrees in an hour, and cracking the windows has little effect.
The witnesses said Secondi had a teenage daughter and other people with her. They said they’re baffled all of them forgot the girl and said they weren't moved by Secondi's tears.
"I told the cop, ‘Look, I see her crying, but no matter what, she left that baby in the car and all that crying shouldn't get her out of trouble,’" Chrysty said.
And, it didn't.
Officer: "Are you married?"
Secondi: "Yes sir."
Officer: "You need to call him and have him come here right now because you're going to jail."
Secondi: "Yes sir. I'm so sorry.”
Secondi told the officer she had never been in trouble or arrested before and had forgotten her daughter was in the van. She was arrested for child abuse.
As for the Good Samaritans, they're just thankful the case didn't have a different ending.
"I'm glad it wasn't something where we were hearing about a baby die on the news," Jay said.
Oklahoma is one of 20 states that have a law against leaving your child unattended for any length of time. It's a misdemeanor, but that charge can be upgraded to something more serious like child abuse.
Oklahoma also has a Good Samaritan law that says you cannot be charged or sued if you are making a genuine effort to save someone's life.
Secondi declined to comment.