Two UK police officers were red-faced after they broke a car window to rescue what they believed was an abandoned baby, but was actually a lifelike doll.
The car was parked outside the Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, England, when police were called after a passer-by spotted what they thought was a newborn baby locked inside a Vauxhall Corsa car.
According to BBC News, when the UK police arrived on the scene, nurses from the hospital confirmed that it did, indeed, look like there was a real-life baby locked inside the vehicle and that the child was not well.
The two UK police officers decided to smash the car window to rescue the baby, only to find that it was, in fact, a very lifelike doll.
Police smash car window in doll mix-up http://t.co/MsuGzwdV16
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 30, 2015
When the owner of the doll, Janaih Rattray, 10, and her sister, Delesia, returned to the car, they found glass all over the seats along with a note from the police officers. Delesia was at the hospital visiting her mother Carole Johnson, 43, in the A&E department of the hospital at the time. Janaih had left her doll, named Ryan, on the back seat of the car during their visit.
Delesia, 20, said the UK police officers should have realized that the doll wasn’t real and said when she got outside, the back window behind the driver’s seat had been smashed and there was glass all over the seats. She said she thought it was weird, but then found the note from the police, asking her to phone them.
“When I rang they said they had thought the doll was a baby in the front seat.
“Someone had phoned them to say there was a baby in the car.
“Some nurses had come out and agreed that it was a baby.”
The Mirror quoted Delesia as saying that the doll does look real and similar to a baby of a few months of age. However, she said if you look at the hands, which weren’t covered by the blanket, it is easy to see it’s not a real baby. However, she did add that she understands why they broke into the car, especially if they thought a real baby was in danger.
—…david jones (@_dpaj) October 1, 2015
According to Carole Johnson, who was released from the hospital later that day, the doll is a limited edition that had been given to Janaih by someone in the family. She said she thinks that just by looking at the doll, you can tell it isn’t real.
“The hands were visible and they were obviously not moving,” she explained.
Since the incident, UK police have agreed to pay the £90 ($136) repair bill for the window. The police apologized to the family but they support their officers’ decision to break the window in what they thought was a “genuine emergency.”
Police smash car window to rescue ‘trapped baby’ only to find a DOLL: POLICE officers smashed a car window aft… http://t.co/D9GrB0XMh1
— UK News Links (@dlUKnewslinks) September 30, 2015
According to Chief Inspector Phil Dolby, the “extremely lifelike doll” was wrapped in a baby blanket with only the top of its head exposed. He went on to add that the head of the supposed baby was discolored, giving the “highly experienced” officers reason for concern.
Dolby added that the officers had attempted to trace the owner of the car, but, believing it to be a genuine emergency, they then proceeded to break the car window to investigate further.
[Photo: Courtesy West Midlands Police]