Father arrested after one-year-old found dead in hot car
A father is arrested in Las Vegas as police investigate the death of a one-year-old child found dead in a locked car.
The father of a one-year-old was arrested after the child died in a hot, locked car.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, 27-year-old Sydney Deal refused the suggestion from police officers to break his car window, citing repair costs. He claimed his daughter, Sayah Deal, was okay because the air conditioner was running. The report says Deal declined assistance from a tow-truck company and a locksmith before calling his brother instead. Police said the child was locked in a high-heat environment for approximately an hour and was dead when they finally broke the glass to pull her out.
Deal allegedly accidentally locked the toddler in the running car after leaving his girlfriend’s residence following an argument. He claims after putting his daughter in the backseat, starting the ignition, and turning on the air conditioner, he re-entered the apartment and continued the argument for approximately 15 minutes before asking for his phone and requesting she call her insurance company to unlock his vehicle.
By the time police officers became involved, the Sun reports, Sayah had sat inside the car for almost 45 minutes.
After the tragic death, Deal was arrested on child abuse charges. Police spokesman Larry Hadfield said officers waited to break the window because Deal insisted on avoiding damage to his new vehicle and they claimed they could see the child breathing, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“The dad said that the AC was on and the kid was playing, and when the officers arrived, they saw that she was breathing,” Hadfield said. “But when the officers got concerned for the child’s well-being, they broke the window.”
Shellie Ratliff, a neighbor who witnessed the ordeal tells the news outlet both Deal and police attempted to unlock the car for about two hours before the window was broken and claims they even asked her for a hanger. She said she was unaware a child was in the car until she saw them remove the body.
“I don’t understand why police didn’t bust that window open first,” Ratliff said to the Review-Journal. “You can always get another car, but you can’t get another life.”
Other neighbors tell the Review-Journal they believe the death was a tragic accident, and say they viewed deal as a caring father.
“I can genuinely say that since that baby was small, he’s loved on her. I’ve never seen a bad time when he had that little girl in his possession,” Darius Jones said to the outlet. Deal is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on $20K bail. He is expected to appear in court Thursday.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!