WATCH: Rental car workers help Florida toddler left in hot vehicle by grandpa

Florida toddler left in hot vehicle by grandpa (left) (Image via VolusiaSheriff
Florida toddler left in hot vehicle by grandpa (left) (Image via VolusiaSheriff'sOffice)

According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office in DeLand, Florida, David Towner, 62, was prosecuted on criminal charges after it was allegedly discovered that he had left his 1-year-old granddaughter in a hot rental car on Monday, October 10, 2022. He was charged with child neglect after his first appearance in court on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

Reports from paramedics who checked on his granddaughter later suggested that she was left in the car for about 45 minutes. Fortunately, when she was found, she hadn't suffered any injuries and was breathing normally.


The toddler was petrified after allegedly being locked up inside the vehicle

According to a news release from the sheriff's office on Tuesday, Florida native David Towner returned the rental car to the Hertz location at Daytona Beach International Airport at around 5.13 pm. with the child still inside.

It was reported that, as the ambient temperature in the parking lot approached 80 degrees, the young child was kept inside and locked up.

When the police arrived, they discovered her terrified, with a heated face smeared with dry tears. Authorities attempted to contact Towner but were unsuccessful.

Later, the mother of the toddler called 911 around 6 pm, and Hertz deputies responded right away.

"He said that he had my daughter at the house, and he left my daughter in the rental car...I’m going to meet them at the airport. I’m going as fast as I can!"

The dispatcher advised the mother to follow traffic regulations and to unwind because they were "pretty sure" the girl was protected.

“No, that’s not gonna happen. My baby is in the car."

Additionally, a spokesperson said in a statement:

"We’re grateful for the actions of our Hertz teammates and glad the child is safe."

According to an arrest report, Towner was looking after his granddaughter for the day as the girl's childcare center was closed due to the Columbus Day vacation. Towner was said to be regretful and cooperating with the investigation. He was given a $2500 bond and instructed not to contact the child by the judge.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood of Volusia County, Florida, stated that the Hertz staff members engaged in the event will receive accolades from the community.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande