A Florida inmate working on a highway cleanup crew was in the right place at the right time for a panicked mom.
The mom was getting out of her Chevy Tahoe when her husband accidentally left the keys on the front seat and shut the door — locking their 1-year-old in the car in high temperatures. As ABC 7 reported, a group of inmates doing some work on a highway median saw the frightened mom and ran over to help.
One of the inmates, who had a history of breaking into cars, knew what to do. Using a clothes hanger, he was able to get into the door and unlock it, allowing the mom to get her baby before any harm could be done.
Afterward, Sheriff Chris Nocco said it was a good chance for the unnamed inmate to redeem himself for some of his past mistakes.
“They know they made bad mistakes, bad choices, but they want to do the right thing in life,” Nocco said.
The baby was unharmed during the time locked in the car, though it was still a frightening moment for the parents.
This is not the only time a group of Good Samaritan inmates have gotten viral attention. Last year, a group of inmates doing maintenance work in a cemetery during a hot day noticed that a deputy sheriff was having medical distress. The deputy collapsed in the heat and lost consciousness.
As CBS News noted, the inmates could have escaped, but instead decided to help the guard. One of the inmates took the deputy’s cell phone to call 911, while others removed his bulletproof vest so they could perform CPR and cool him down.
They were able to revive the deputy.
“When that happened, in my opinion, it wasn’t about who is in jail and who wasn’t,” Greg Williams, one of the inmates, told WXIA in Atlanta. “It was about a man going down, and we had to help him.”
Afterward, the sheriff recommended that all six inmates — who were nonviolent offenders — be given reduced sentences. The incident took place the same week that two inmates escaped from a prison in Georgia and killed two correctional officers, which led to the extra praise for the group who came together to save the distressed sheriff’s deputy.
In Florida, the mom of the rescued 1-year-old said she plans to find out the names of the inmates who helped and will contribute to their commissary accounts.