Monday, July 14, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)- A review is underway in Richmond County after a child was apparently left in a car Saturday.
"I thought he was dead. I already thought it was too late at this point," said Ortalaza.
Thoughts running through Nick Ortalaza's mind when he says he saw a toddler locked in a hot car Saturday. He tells us how he peeled down the window, unlocked the car, and got the child out. The child's face and clothes soaked in sweat.
"At this point we're just in disbelief that this is happening with so much awareness about this happening right now," said Ortalaza.
Ortalaza says the Fire Department and EMS arrived. Then, he had to call again to get a Richmond County Deputy there.
"I walk up to the officer, and I tell him like this isn't right. What's going on, and the officer tells me he has to go on what the firefighters and EMS told him, and they said the kid is not overheated that essentially the kid was going to be okay," said Ortalaza.
The next thing Ortalaza says he saw, two men claiming to be the uncle and father walked away from the EMS truck child in hand.
"How is the father walking away cleanly with the child?" said Ortalaza.
A parked car can reach 125 degrees in a matter of minutes. The father said he left the windows cracked and was only gone for less than three minutes.
"He's got adults that have made some poor decisions already so what happens next?"
Richmond County says the call came in as a child locked in a car. When they got there, deputies reported the child was already out.
Now, the sheriff's office is reviewing whether this call was handled properly. Today, the sheriff's office is re-interviewing people and gathering information before deciding what to do next.
"Never in my life have I ever felt so wronged and not even for me, but for that kid, and i felt like something should have been done for that child," said Ortalaza.
Richmond County investigators say they are still looking into this to find out if the father will face charges. News 12 was not able to find a report on this when we looked on Sunday. Now, as they re-interview witnesses they say they're working on a report as they decide whether charges will go forward.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office says they don't have a set policy, but their main priority is always keeping the child safe.
Once they make sure the child is okay, then they start their investigation to see if anything criminal was committed.