It is believed that baby was in the hot car for at least an hour but Twitter users question why cops didn't act sooner.
A Las Vegas father has been arrested after he refused cops to break the window of his new car to save his dying toddler. The one-year-old baby girl was found after she was accidentally locked inside of the hot car. Sidney Deal, 27, flagged down officers after he left Sayah Deal, in the hot car on Monday afternoon with the keys inside. But when cops offered to break the windows, the dad claimed he couldn't afford to pay for any damages to his new car.
According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal , police spokesman Larry Hadfield said on Tuesday evening that the officers waited to break the window because Deal was adamant about protecting the car and they could see the child breathing. "The dad said that the A/C was on and the kid was playing, and when the officers arrived, they saw that she was breathing" Hadfield said. "But when the officers got concerned for the child’s well-being, they broke the window." Deal also thought the baby was fine and told the officer the same because the air conditioning was on. He admitted she stopped moving on the floor of the backseat, which he assumed that she had gone to sleep.
Officials interviewed Deal’s brother who said he received a call from him saying he accidentally locked Sayah in the car. When Deal’s brother arrived, he told police, "He immediately took his shirt off, wrapped it around his knuckles and was ready to punch the window," according to the report. "Sidney stopped him and said he wanted to wait for a tow truck. Sidney insisted he not damage his new vehicle, stating he had just bought the car and did not have the money to repair a broken window."
Shellie Ratliff, 64, who lives in the building next door and watched the events unfold said, "I don’t understand why police didn’t bust that window open first," Ratliff said. "You can always get another car, but you can’t get another life." Darius Jones, 26, and sister Alaijzha Shields, 14, live next door to Deal’s girlfriend believe it was an honest, tragic mistake. "I honestly believe it was a tragic accident," Jones said. "I can genuinely say that since that baby was small, he’s loved on her. I’ve never seen a bad time when he had that little girl in his possession."
Police believe the baby had been inside the hot car for about an hour when an officer was finally able to break open a window, Las Vegas Sun reported. Tragically, Sayah was already dead, according to the publication. Sayah was trapped in a "high heat environment" for about an hour, it is believed. Her body had already gone into rigor mortis, police said, by the time they tried to get her out. Deal was subsequently booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one count of child abuse or neglect causing substantial bodily harm. He is currently being held at the Clark County Detention Center on a $20,000 bail. His next hearing is set for Thursday. Many people online have questioned why police didn't act sooner if they thought the baby was being neglected.
Deal's heartbroken mother has spoken out. According to KLAS , Artavia Wilson said, "My son was not negligent the way he handled it." The baby's mother has spoken out as well. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Mariah Coleman, 28, asked on Tuesday night at a vigil her family hosted, "If you loved and provided for your daughter so much, why did you let her die. I just want to know why you didn’t call the mother of your child when she was locked in," Coleman said while tearing up. "I seen my baby smile one last time. I should have grabbed her." She last saw Sayah about two hours before her death.
REPRESENTATIONAL COVER IMAGE SOURCE: Getty Images/ Catherine McQueen