Houston & Peach

A baby was left in a hot car. A teen and a cop are credited with saving her life

An observant teenage girl and a Perry police officer are being credited with saving the life of an infant left inside a car on a hot day.

The incident happened at Walmart in Perry shortly before noon Oct. 9, which was Columbus Day, said Perry Police Chief Steve Lynn.

Candace Passmore, 15, of Hawkinsville, was coming out of the store with her mom when Candace spotted an infant locked inside a car. The temperature at that time was about 85 degrees.

Candace’s mom at first thought the child was a doll, but when Candace insisted it was a baby her mom looked again and dialed 911. Officer Joshua Brown soon arrived on the scene, then immediately broke out a window and pulled the baby out.

The child, a 3-month-old girl, was nonresponsive and sweating profusely. Paramedics arrived on the scene and soon the baby rebounded. Lynn said the child fully recovered and is doing well now.

Candace and Brown were honored for their actions at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Mayor Jimmy Faircloth declared Candace and her family to be “official citizens of Perry.”

“I just want to thank you for your quick action and observation,” Faircloth told her. “You probably saved a life and that doesn’t happen often.”

He also had high praise for Brown, who graduated from the police academy just a year earlier.

“You didn’t hesitate,” Faircloth told Brown. “You didn’t call. You didn’t ask for permission. You took action. That is exactly what we are looking for in the integrity and quick response of our officers.”

Lynn said he wasn’t sure how long the baby had been inside the car. He also praised Brown’s decisive action.

“He could have claimed being a rookie and ‘let me run it up the chain’ and all that,” Lynn said. “He took the action that needed to be taken.”

Lynn said the car was being driven by the baby’s father. The father claimed he thought another family member had removed the child from the car earlier and he didn’t know the child was in the car. But Lynn said the man was charged with cruelty to children and taken to jail. The child was returned to her mother, who was not involved in the incident and not married to the father.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1