TULSA, Okla. — A toddler is safe after being locked in a hot car in Tulsa Tuesday, Aug. 13 — all thanks to the quick actions of a 12-year-old boy.
Ben Theriot and his mom, Nikki Fields, were about to shop for shoes when they heard a baby screaming and yelling.
“My mom heard a baby crying,” Theriot said.
Fields found the 2-year-old boy locked in the back seat of a vehicle.
Tulsa police told KOKI Tuesday’s heat index was 116 degrees.
“I just got on the phone,” Fields said. “I yelled for him to find anything in my car.”
Theriot found a ratchet strap in his mom’s car and got to work.
“I started hitting the side window,” he said. “Didn’t bust. Bent it pretty badly.”
That’s when he moved to the front windshield and an employee from a store brought out a part of a clothing rack.
“I swung it over my shoulder,” Theriot said. “Hit it right in the center, and then I hit it a couple more times, and then I climbed on the windshield. I stomped on it, and then it cracked pretty badly again. Then, the lady went and grabbed that hanger thing, and then I put the hook into the windshield and pulled it out, and then I unlocked it.”
Police said the toddler was red-faced and upset, but did not have to go to a hospital.
Authorities found the mother shopping in ROSS and issued her a $250 ticket.
She reportedly told police it was all an accident, saying she thought another adult was in the car when she went inside. Officers asked her why the car would be off and locked if someone else was in the vehicle.
KOKI reported police were unsure what happened.
Tulsa police said the mother received the ticket under the “Forget Me Not” law, and she wasn’t arrested because the child was not seriously hurt, adding it would not make a strong enough case for child neglect.
Police said they were making sure DHS conducted a follow-up investigation to ensure the child’s welfare.
Fields said she was just proud of her son’s hard work.
“I’m just very proud of him,” she said. “I’m glad he knew what to do.”