ISLAND HEIGHTS, N.J. — A New Jersey police officer broke the window of a vehicle to rescue a child that was locked inside on a hot day and then offered to pay for the damage, according to his department.
The Island Heights Police Department said in a Facebook post that Patrolman Rocco Mellott was dispatched to the vehicle on River Ave. on July 12.
When he arrived, police say the child’s mother was frantic outside of the vehicle and she reported that she accidentally left her keys in the car after securing her child into a car seat.
“As the mother went to access the driver door of the vehicle, she had realized the vehicle was locked,” wrote the department.
Police say the officer quickly requested first aid as a precaution and dispatched a tow truck to perform a “lockout kit” on the vehicle.
After minutes passed, police say Mellott saw the child was starting to sweat. The high temperature in neighboring Seaside Heights was 90 degrees Fahrenheit on July 12, according to AccuWeather.
“From his training and experience, he knew that the child could be in grave danger in this heat,” said the department.
With the consent of the mother, police say Mellott broke a window of the vehicle, and he was able to open the door to retrieve the child. First aid arrived shortly after to clear the child of any medical issues, according to police.
“As if rescuing a child wasn’t good enough, Patrolman Mellott went above and beyond the call,” wrote the department. “After speaking with the mother who was extremely grateful of his valiant effort, she spoke of financial difficulties as to how she would repair her window. Without hesitation, Patrolman Mellott made arrangements to pay for her window.”
In the end, police say the Island Heights PBA and the Island Heights First Aid squad donated enough funds to help cover the costs of a new window.