Waterford Police Refuse To Send Help When Woman Accidentally Locks 2-Month Old In Hot Car

Dispatcher will be disciplined, the chief says.

August 24, 2018 - 2:37 pm

(WWJ) A Michigan mother's situation is getting national attention after she said she accidentally locked her keys in the car -- with her baby -- and a 911 dispatcher refused to send help.

The woman said she begged for emergency assistance on the phone while she smashed a chunk of asphalt against the window and her two-month-old daughter screamed inside the hot vehicle. It wouldn't break, and neither would the dispatcher, who calmly told her all she could do was pass on the number for a towing company.

"It was terrifying. It was like the worst day of my life," Lacey Guyton of Clarkston told FOX 2 Detroit. "I was so, like, shocked, [thinking> they aren't coming; I have to get her out of here. Nobody's coming to help me."

The incident happened on a sweltering day last Saturday when Guyton was visiting her grandparents in Waterford. She loaded the baby in her car seat to leave and said the doors suddenly locked with the the keys inside. She was terrified that the temperature was climbing fast inside her car. 

Desperate calls to 911 only netted the answer, "We don't unlock vehicles, unfortunately," and an offer to transfer the call to a towing company. 

Her grandmother accepted the call transfer, but Guyton was terrified the baby wouldn't last that long inside the hot car. "Like I don't know how many minutes I have, until she's passing out," she told FOX 2.

She called the dispatcher back and got the same answer: No.

Driven by desperation, Guyton was eventually able to smash the window herself.

She later complained to Waterford police, who took her situation seriously and said the dispatcher -- a veteran with years on the job -- would be disciplined.

Waterford Police Chief Scott Underwood apologized to the family, and said all dispatchers will receive further training.

"It's a common sense issue," Chief Scott Underwood said. "You call 911, you expect for somebody to come and give you some help, and we certainly should have gone and done that. We made a mistake and we need to fix that."