Police arrested a Connecticut mother for allegedly leaving her baby locked in a hot car Wednesday on two separate occasions.
The 46-year-old mother, Hiroko Kurihara, went to the gym twice on that hot day, reports ABC 7. Both times, she allegedly left her 4-month-old locked in the car with the windows rolled up.
Around noon that day, Good Samaritan Alicia Reed was in the parking garage on her lunch break when she heard a baby’s cries coming from somewhere nearby, and she knew she had to help.
"Why do I still hear the baby?" she said to ABC 11. "So something told me to just get up and look in the cars around you ... I started to walk to the car that was over here, and I looked through the window, and that's when I saw the baby ... all by himself with the windows rolled up, kicking and screaming."
She was unable to get into the car, so she called her supervisor, who got in touch with emergency dispatch.
Police and firefighters arrived on scene. They were unable to unlock the Toyota Land Cruiser, so they instead broke a window to rescue the distraught infant.
Just then, Kurihara returned to the car and was arrested.
"It's unfortunate what happened, but it was fortunate that she (Reed) happened to be where she was," Norwalk police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said. "Then they had found out that this was the second time, apparently, that she had gone to the gym that day and left the child twice unattended."
“I just thank God I was there,” said Reed.
According to police, Kurihara left her child alone in 80-degree weather for at least 30 minutes, reports PIX 11. Earlier that day, she may have left her baby in the car for up to an hour.
Kurihara faces two counts of risk of injury to a minor and two counts of leaving an unattended child in a car. She is currently in custody pending a $10,000 bail.
An average of 38 children die every year from being trapped inside a hot car, according to KidsAndCars.org.