Retired Officer Steve Eckel Finds Baby Locked In Hot Car, Gets Out His Problem Solver

Retired officer Steve Eckel saved a baby from a hot car on Monday.

Retired officer Steve Eckel saved a baby from a hot car on Monday.

Retired Officer Steve Eckel Finds Baby Locked In Hot Car, Gets Out His Problem Solver

Howell, New Jersey – Retired police officer Steve Eckel found a 4-month-old locked in a hot car in a Kohl’s parking lot on Monday. The retired lawman sprung into action and grabbed his sledgehammer to save the baby.

The retired Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant was shocked when he found the baby in the car on Monday. “It was well over 120 degrees in that car,” Steve Eckel told WCBS. “Just think of what could have happened.”

“She was sweating, crying,” he said. “Her hands were out in the car. She was screaming so loud you could see her eyes rolling back.”

Eckel remembered that he had a sledgehammer in his car. In flip-flops, he quickly ran back to his car and grabbed it. “I ran around to the other side, and then I caught the edge right here by the window, and it just shattered,” he said.

The baby was beet red and soaking in sweat. “I do believe in guardian angels, and I think that I’m the one for this child,” Eckel said.

After spending about 40 minutes in the store, the mother, Karen Gruen, finally came out and was unhappy about the damage to her car. Officers on-scene arrested Gruen for endangering the welfare of a child. Gruen was later released with a pending court date for the criminal charge.

Even in retirement, retired officer Steve Eckel is still saving lives. Good job, hero!