SHOUT OUT: A Bergen County Sheriff’s officer smashed open a minivan window to free a crying, sweating 2-year-old girl left by her mother in the parking lot of the Hackensack Costco this afternoon, in a rescue captured on cellphone video by a Palisades Park couple.
Officer Rich Carrion (above, left) found the youngster in a car seat, “crying and profusely sweating without adult supervision” in the mid-80s heat this after being alerted by a store manager, the sheriff’s Anthony Cureton told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
Video shot by Arislyeda Pena shows a crowd gathering as her fiance, Rafael Rodriguez II of Palisades Park, tries to reach through a narrow opening in a back window just before 4 p.m.
“I heard the baby crying and saw people just standing around, so I tried to force the window down so I could get my arm through to open the door,” Rodriguez told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “But it didn’t budge.”
Carrion arrives seconds later and smashes his way in from the other side.
WATCH THE VIDEO:
BCSO Sonya Bekier (photos) then climbs into the Toyota Sienna and scoops up the crying child.
A full minute later, the mother comes upon the scene pushing a shopping cart with another young girl and various items inside.
Identified as Chaeyoung Lim-Kim, she was taken to Hackensack police headquarters, charged with child endangerment and released on a court summons, Cureton said.
The girl was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center and both she and her sister were released to her biological father, he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
State child welfare authorities were contacted, he said.
“All four windows were open about an inch and a half, so she obviously knew what she was doing,” said Rodriguez, who’s operates an entertainment business in the Bronx. “It wasn’t like she had a lot on her mind and left her in the car.
“I don’t care if the windows were open a little bit. It was hot out,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. She had a cart full of groceries when she came out.
“You don’t leave a child like that.”