Police rescue 3 young children trapped in hot car outside shopping mall; 2 women charged

Egg Harbor Township police rescued three children trapped in a stuffy SUV outside a mall, and two women were arrested – while shopping inside Walmart.

Officers responded to the Walmart Mall in Oak Tree Plaza at around 2:48 p.m. Wednesday to a report that young children were locked inside a vehicle crying.

“So when I got to the scene, the kids were standing by the window screaming, banging on the windows,” says Constable Tom Rizzotte. “I could see them sweating profusely, beads of sweat falling from their chests. I could see sweat dripping from their heads onto the seat.

The crying children were seen inside the car by someone passing by. Shoppers passing the Toyota SUV saw the children knocking on the window, as temperatures inside the SUV soared. They called the police. Rizzotte arrived with his consignment kit.

“I would then detonate that, and it would open a little hole in the door jamb, and then use the wedge,” Rizzotte explains. “He sneaks in and then I would use this tool to maneuver through the door, push it through.”

The police say the police found the children, aged 3, 1 and 5 months, locked inside a vehicle that was not moving. All the windows were closed. They were locked inside for at least 35 minutes.

The police were able to rescue the children. It only took a few seconds to get the children out, they were given ice and pulled out of the scorching sun by medical teams.

Security camera footage revealed Cyndie Jourdain, 24, the mother of two of the children, and a 17-year-old who was in charge of the third child. Both are from Galloway Township and had been inside the store for approximately 45 minutes at the time the children were located and removed.

“So for people shopping in this heat, if you see something, say something, especially if you see kids in the back of a car,” Rizzotte says.

The children were all transported to Atlantic City Medical Center for treatment, but were expected to be fine. Child protective services were also called in to deal with the children.

Both women were arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Both were released pending trial.

The outside temperature that day was 86 degrees.