GREEN BAY, WI (WBAY) – We are hearing first-hand from a woman who rescued a child from a hot car in Green Bay over the weekend.
As Action 2 News first reported Monday, Brown County prosecutors charged Andrew Yee, from Mundelein, Illinois, with child neglect after police say he left a baby in a car seat in a mini-van for at least 45 minutes while Yee was inside a restaurant.
The woman who sprang into action is sharing her story, telling us what prompted her to crawl inside that van.
It started with a picture.
In fact, the iconic Packers statue, standing tall in front of Titletown Brewing Company in downtown Green Bay may have helped save the child’s life.
At least that’s how Brittnie Peck and her husband will always think of it.
“That’s what Alex said. Well, it’s a really good thing that I like to be such an obnoxious Bears fan, because we went up there just so he could take a picture,” says Brittnie.
Sunday afternoon, the Milwaukee-area couple was snapping pictures near that statute when they heard a baby crying. They quickly found the child in a mini-van in the parking lot.
Brittnie’s husband went inside Titletown to look for the baby’s parents while she stayed with the one-year old, still strapped in his car seat in the back of the van.
After several minutes, Brittnie felt the baby was in distress.
“He was really upset. It wasn’t like he was just sniffling or anything. He was screaming and tears running down his face,” she says.
Brittnie reached in through a cracked front window, unlocked the door and crawled to the baby.
“It was really, really hot in there. His poor little back was soaking wet, and his hair was all wet with sweat,” she says.
Police say the temperature in the baby’s car seat was 97 degrees. Other parts of the van exceeded 140 degrees.
It was 68 degrees air temperature outside.
Doctors say temperatures inside a closed-up car can rise seven degrees every five minutes.
“And they’re (children) pretty warm in those seats and very protected, but that means not a lot of air movement and hard for them to lose body heat in that sort of situation,” says Dr. Kerry Ahrens, BayCare Clinic Emergency Physician.
Prosecutors say the father, Andrew Yee, told police he was watching the baby from the patio and checking on him every few minutes.
“It took a cop car and an ambulance pulled up behind his van and some strange lady walking around for ten minutes with his son in her arms before he noticed,” says Brittnie, still shocked about the whole incident.
“This lady did everything right. She was concerned because she heard the child screaming, noticed the child was in distress. They called 911, which is what we recommend for pets or people,” says Green Bay Police Captain Jeremy Muraski.
A Good Samaritan law just took effect in Wisconsin in November, exempting people from civil liability if they break into a car in situations like this.
Brittnie says that never crossed her mind.
“The thing that I was most concerned about was getting him out and calming him down. I think for a split second, I thought… it was kind of like when I was about to reach my hand in the window, I was like, well, I’m doing this right now, so hope that’s okay with everyone,” says Brittnie.
The baby was taken to the hospital for observation.
According to prosecutors, Yee and his wife were the baby’s foster parents.
Police say Child Protective Services will now investigate.
“I guess I try to think of the best in people, but I just can’t imagine how someone could do something like this,” says Brittnie.
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