Police in Chicago say a couple put their 2-year-old son in danger when they locked him in the trunk of a car, but the couple says they had a good reason for it — they wanted to raise awareness about the dangers of children being locked in car trunks.
Police arrested 28-year-old Boguslaw Matlak this week for allegedly locking his toddler son in the trunk of the family’s car. As the New York Post reported, the couple told police they were actually conducting a “social experiment” to raise awareness about speaking up and taking action when a child is in danger.
Matlak even tried to push his message in an interview with local media after his arrest.
“When people see something wrong, they won’t get involved,” Matlak told the Chicago Tribune. “And when it comes down to kids, it’s everybody’s business to get involved.”
Matlak said the idea for the experiment came after seeing a couple smoke inside a parked car with a child inside, leading him to test the willingness of other bystanders to take action when they saw a child in danger. To do so, police say Matlak placed his own son in danger, locking the boy in the car’s trunk. Matlak actually put the back seat down, allowing the boy to reach his mother who was sitting in the back, but onlookers were not able to see this.
When the couple tried the “experiment” in front of a Panera Bread location on a day that reached close to 90 degrees, one woman called the police. Nicholas Johnson, a friend who was part of the experiment along with Matlak’s wife, said they were shocked that police arrested them when he thought people would understand the point of their actions.
There have been some very serious cases of children being accidentally locked in cars in the Chicago area. Back in 2011, two young brothers died when they were locked inside the trunk of their mother’s car on a day that reached into the mid-80s.
“The whole reason was for a good purpose, but now it seems like I’m a very bad guy” https://t.co/ZURIGkd59M— New York Post (@nypost) September 25, 2018
Police said 2-year-old Isaac Dunner and 4-year-old Dominick Wilk found their way into the car’s trunk while they were playing and were stuck in the car for hours, WSBT-TV reported. Though police investigated, they said the boys’ deaths were just a tragic accident.
After his “social experiment” went awry, Boguslaw Matlak faces a charge of misdemeanor child endearment. The 2-year-old boy who was locked in the trunk was not hurt, police say.