One dad’s cigarette break during a stop in a train ride turned into a moment of sheer panic after the train started to pull away — with his infant strapped into a car seat inside the train.
The incident happened at a train station in Cleveland last month, with a video showing the unnamed dad standing on an empty platform smoking a cigarette next to the train. As FOX8 Cleveland reported, the train’s doors then closed, leading the dad to panic and try banging on the windows, but it was to no avail. The train made its way out of the station with the baby still strapped into a car seat inside.
Video from inside the train showed the man trying to run alongside as it picked up speed. The video showed another passenger watching the father try to get the train to stop and alerted the train’s operator, who was able to stop before it reached the next stop and reverse back to where the panicked dad was waiting.
“Transit police and RTA staff responded to quickly return the station to the platform and reunite the man and his baby,” the report noted.
There was still some controversy even after the reunion, as the train operator reportedly told police that the father had been menacing her, but an investigation by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority found that her claim was unfounded and that she had been coached by a supervisor to make the claim after failing to follow the proper communication procedure during the incident.
Another similar incident last year did not have such a happy ending. In Houston, a toddler died after being forgotten in a van after the child’s day care center had taken him and other children on a field trip to a local park.
As ABC 13 reported, the 3-year-old boy was found dead several hours after he had been left in a van in temperatures that reached 113 degrees. Police tried to revive the boy, but he died after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Police called the incident a tragedy and pointed fingers at the day care center, which had reportedly faced a number of violations for the same van in 2015, including not having an electronic child safety alarm, which can alert the driver and staff if a child is left in the vehicle.
In Cleveland, GCRTA officials said that neither the passengers nor the baby was in any danger during the incident.