Babysitter Arrested After Leaving Boy In Hot Car At Penn Square Mall
Several witnesses on Thursday rushed to help a four-year-old boy after he escaped at hot car at Penn Square Mall. Police said Gregory Rideau, 31, was babysitting the boy and left him in the car for more than 30 minutes.
A woman sitting in her car noticed a little boy wandering the parking lot alone. She and two other people ran to his side and called 911.
Witness: “This little baby, this little boy just got out of the car by himself. I been sitting in the parking lot for about 15 minutes”
The witness realized the boy had been inside the hot car but did not know for how long.
Witness: “He been sitting in this car for at least the last, he can’t even catch his breath.”
Oklahoma City police, paramedics, and the Oklahoma City Fire Department showed up only minutes after the woman’s call. Officers had to check mall surveillance footage to figure out who left the boy in the car.
“From looking at video,” said Msgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department. “It appears the male drove him there and then got out, turned the car off, got out and walked inside the mall leaving the boy inside the closed car.”
Mall security had to track down Rideau inside the mall. According to the report, Rideau admitted to forgetting the boy was in the car.
“He said the kid was sleeping and basically left the kid in there and went into the mall shopping for a while,” said Knight. “Said he didn’t plan to be gone long but was gone for over half an hour.”
Knight said the boy checked out fine and Rideau arrested and booked into jail for child endangerment.
“We are so fortunate this didn’t turn into a terrible tragedy,” said Knight.
The fire department took a temperature reading from inside the car with the doors shut and windows up. They reported the car reached 115 degrees in only a couple of minutes.