Babysitter’s Ordeal Locking Toddler in Hot Car
(Memphis) “I had put him in here and laid my keys on the floor,” said Linda Stotts.
If you`ve ever had something just out of reach or did something you regretted a moment later, you might know how Linda Stotts felt when she realized she had locked an 18-month-old toddler in her car. Linda was babysitting when it happened.
“It was really horrible,” she said.
She dialed 911, “They said we can have him out in five minutes.”
“This is where they pried it open and they could get it open about this far and he had a fishhook thing,” she said pointing to the car door.
But she says 40 minutes passed and the officers couldn’t snag those keys, “And I was like ‘it`s hot, he is going to dehydrate. He is going to pass out because he was getting red and he was beginning to sweat.”
She called the baby into action, encouraging little Shepard Smith to grab those keys on the car floor, “And I said ‘ok punch the buttons. Punch the buttons’.”
But his little fingers weren’t strong enough to do the job.
That’s when police decided to call the keyman, Locksmith Tony Ashcraft.
“I was able to hook the keys and pull them out the door,” he said.
”He had it open, just like that,” Linda said.
Linda says she tried to pay him for what he’d accomplished, “He said with a baby in the car, you don`t owe me a thing.”
“She was upset enough. I didn`t want to charge her,” said Ashcraft.
“And I said ‘well, at least let me hug you’ and I hugged him and he was gone,” she said.
And with that, the ordeal was over. Shepard was ok and Linda the babysitter walked away with a lesson for herself and for all parents.
”Yeah, to always keep my keys in my hands or pocket,” said Shepard’s Dad Dewey Smith.
Locksmith Ashcraft says in his career, he has responded to about ten calls like this one where someone has locked a baby in a car. He says if this ever happens to you, you should call the police and also a lock professional because they’ll have the right tools to get the doors unlocked.