A cellphone video of a child sitting in the back of a running truck at a north Kentucky shopping center has drawn a good deal of attention and prompted a police investigation.
Mark Hermann shot the video Thursday outside of a Harbor Freight Tools store in Florence, Kentucky, WCPO News reports. Hermann said he noticed the young boy sitting in the truck that had the keys in the ignition, the engine running, and the windows rolled down. He said he was outside the store for about two minutes before he started filming the video (shown below).
“First I didn’t know if I should call the police,” Hermann told WCPO. “Then I took out my camera, actually my phone, and I figured I’d just a take a picture of the license plate. Then I just started to take a video.”
He posted the unedited version of the video to his Facebook page. In it Hermann can be seen confronting the man who left the child in the running vehicle.
As the man walks out of the store he tells Hermann the truck belongs to the person he works for, but says the child is his.
The man says he just ran in the front door of the store to drop off something.
“You know if I was a bad guy, I could have probably just drove off,” Hermann tells the man.
“I bet you would have got two in the back of the head,” the man replies.
The confrontation never turns physical, but the two argue a bit longer on camera before the man drives off.
“I tried to be nice about it you know, let him know I didn’t think it was too safe,” Hermann told WCPO.
Hermann, who has a 4-year-old daughter himself, said he decided to post the video on Facebook because he wanted people “to really think about what they are doing with their child in the car.”
The video has since been shared more than 4,000 times and viewed nearly 150,000 times.
WCPO spoke to Florence Police Capt. Tom Grau about the incident. He said the city does have an ordinance against leaving children unattended in vehicles and that a driver can be fined if he or she leaves a child for more than three minutes.
Leaving children in hot cars, with the windows up, is especially dangerous, Grau said.
Police said that, after seeing the video, they would investigate the incident and file a report with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
The man in the video has not been charged with anything.
Grau encouraged anyone who sees a child alone in a car to call authorities, but said he does not recommend direct confrontation.
“Call police and give us the information. Let us handle talking with the subject,” Grau said.
Photo Credit: Screen shot from YouTube