WPB baby rescued from hot car

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Clifford Terry couldn't believe what he saw in a car next to his.

"First reaction, was it scared me because the baby was so little," said Terry.

The retiree had spotted a 9-month-old baby strapped to a car seat, windows barely cracked open, no air conditioning, all the while Saturday temperatures reached 80 degrees and there was plenty of sun.

"The baby had been there about 30 minutes or longer," added Terry.

A 5-year member of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Citizens Observer Patrol, Terry instinctively called 911.

He was also worried that someone would snatch the baby given the location, the Guys and Dolls Adult Bookstore on Military Trail in Suburban West Palm Beach.

"You don't know who hangs out there. Anybody could have slid the kid in their car and be gone," he said.

Firefighters arrived with-in minutes and thankfully the car was unlocked.

The little girl had a temperature of 104 degrees and was too weak to cry, She was rushed to the hospital in serious condition, but is expected to survive.

Turns out her father, 28-year-old Rafael Garcia, was in the adult book store and, according to investigators, he told them he was looking for a sexy-role playing outfit for his wife and had only planned to be there for a few minutes.

Terry is just glad he got there in the nick of time.

"It scared me more than anything it really did. I was not being a hero, just doing what's natural," he said.

Garcia is now charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect.