Baker County deputies recall rescue of boy stuck in hot car

'It's just about getting the baby safe and back in good health,' deputy says

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MACCLENNY, Fla. – Days after a 3-year-old boy was rescued from a hot car in Baker County, News4Jax spoke with the deputies who answered that 911 call. 

The call came into the Baker County Sheriff’s Office about 1:30 p.m. Aug. 22. Deputies learned the boy was passed out inside a locked car that wasn’t running as temperatures reached 94 degrees outside.

By the time deputies got there, the child’s parents had smashed a window to free their son. It wasn’t clear how long the child had been trapped, but his body felt lifeless and clammy to the touch.

“He was letting out some faint moans,” Deputy Michael Antonini recalled.

Antonini and Lt. Chris Walker were the first to arrive.

"I could tell he was clammy feeling, he had been hot, " Walker said.

They knew they had to cool down the 3-year-old’s core body temperature in the hopes of bringing his vital signs back under control.

“Instant training kicks in,” Antonini said. “You get there and you’re really not worried about how it happened, who’s to blame. It’s just about getting the baby safe and back in good health.”

Walker drove the ambulance while Antonini and others worked on the child. As they neared the helicopter landing zone, the boy opened his eyes. He was airlifted to Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

The boy is out of the hospital now and is said to be doing better.

Deputies later learned the child's mother did not get out of bed until 1:30 p.m., six hours after the child was last checked on. She was charged with child neglect and child welfare workers were notified.

The mother was released from the Baker County jail Monday after posting $5,000 bond on the condition that she has no contact with the victim.

“You are a mother, we are fathers,” Walker said. “You know kids can slip away in a second. With kids, you have to chase after them and see what they are into.”

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