MEDFORD, Ore. — When Kristin Hals was leaving a parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, she strapped her two-year-old son, Brandon Evans, in the car. She claims her car locks malfunctioned leaving Brandon stuck inside the vehicle.
With temperatures in the mid-90s, Hals called 911. When police arrived, she told the officer to break the window, but he refused. Hals tried to break the window, but she could not. She called the child’s father and when he arrived, he broke the window and removed the child. The parents say they are frustrated that the police refused to help and have said they have filed a formal complaint with the Medford Police Department.
“He put my son’s life in jeopardy, he could have caused my son irreparable brain damage, he could have altered my two year old son’s life, forever, by his inaction,” said Jeff Evans, Brandon’s Father.
Medford Police say they deal with situations like this frequently with children or pets being locked in cars. Officials say they take several factors into account like length of time the child has been in the car, and how hot it is outside. Ultimately, there is not a specific protocol in place, and the decision is made by the individual officer.
“Anytime where we damage someone’s property there’s a liability there, so if we could abstain from that liability by having the property owner do it themselves, that would always be the best scenario,” said Lt. Mike Budreau with the Medford Police Department.
As of Wednesday, Brandon is doing well, and Medford Police says they investigate all complaints to see if a situation could have been handled better.