Off-Duty Tulsa Police Officers Rescue Toddler Accidentally Locked In Jeep

Wednesday, August 21st 2019, 8:15 am
By: Tess Maune

A Green Country mom is praising two Tulsa police officers who rescued her toddler after he locked himself in her Jeep.

“He locked himself in the car, accidents happen,” said Tulsa Police K9 Handler Charles Ramsey. “It's a little boy being a little boy.”

Stacey Sturgess had just parked in her driveway in Oologah and unbuckled her 2-year-old son, LT, from his car seat.

She says the toddler is in an independent phase, so he wanted to climb up to the front seat by himself to get a stuffed animal. Stacey says she shut the back door and went to grab her son from the front seat and that’s when LT stepped on the key fob and locked the doors.

“I was told my Jeep wouldn’t lock with the keys in it,” Stacey said. “Right as I was putting my hand on the handle I heard it [lock] and I was like, oh no.”

When she heard the sound of the doors locking, she says it was a moment of panic for, but not for LT.

“He thought it was funny,” she said about her son.

Mom wasn't laughing, though, she was trying to find a way into the car, but with no luck. So she called her neighbors, Tulsa Police Officers, Charles and Samantha Ramsey.

“She was like, 'I need your help, LT locked himself in the car and it's not running,'” Samantha said.

The Ramseys were in Stacey’s driveway in no time.

They first tried to get LT to unlock the door, but the that didn’t work. Then they tried to jimmy the lock, but that wasn’t possible on the 2017 Jeep.

“When you're dealing with the heat, you don't have a whole lot of time,” said Charles. “If it's November you can spend 30 minutes trying to get in the car.”

It happened August 11, on one of the hotter days of the year. They say at first LT was having fun, but it didn't take long on the hot summer day for things to change.

“He was laughing and having a good time and then all the sudden he wasn't. He went from having a good time to... it was a bad,” Stacey said.

“He stuck his head against the window and I just saw the sweat running down the window,” said Samantha.

At that point there was no more time to try to get the door open, so Charles broke the window.

“I went around to the driver's side and that's when I punched, used the window punch, and busted out the rear window,” said Charles. “The minute the window shattered, that heat come pouring out of that car.”

Samantha pulled LT from the Jeep. In all, he was locked inside for less than 10 minutes.             

“The inside of her car wasn't hot to begin with, she'd had the air conditioner running full blast -- so it started out kind of cool, so it was kind of eye opening,” said Samantha. “I was surprised at how overheated he was in that short amount of time.”

LT was hot, but safe. Charles, who’s also a paramedic, too LT inside and helped him cool down. He says the toddler was back to his energetic self in about 10 minutes.             

For Stacey, she can’t say thank you enough to the two police officers, who she also calls heroes.

“Police officers don’t get as much credit as they deserve. I just think they deserve more credit for the heroes that they are and not just on duty, but off duty,” Stacey said.

The officers say they didn’t think twice about helping.

“There was no questioning it,” said Charles. “I'm gonna get in that car, we're gonna find a way to get in that car.”

“We knew we were gonna get him out,” Samantha said. “[Stacey] did a really good job, she immediately called us and did as much as she could to get him out.”

Stacey's best advice to other parents is have a plan for something like this.

The officers to break a window it’s best use something smaller and sharp. They say bigger items, like a brick or a bat aren’t the best options.

“They're not that easy to break. They're designed to take rocks going down the highway and things like that,” Charles said. “People always think grab the biggest object you can. The biggest object's gonna bounce off the window, more surface area, the window's gonna take more impact.”    

The officers say it’s easiest to break a car window by finding the weakest point, like a corner.

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