Retired police officer acts after noticing a red-faced baby shaking in car with empty driver’s seat

On his way to a nearby department store, Steve Eckel, a retired police officer from Howell, New Jersey, noticed an infant in a parked vehicle. The child was red-faced, shivering, and crying, with no one else visible in the car. Eckel recognized the danger of leaving children unattended in hot cars, and quickly retrieved a hammer from his car’s trunk to rescue the infant.


An unaccompanied infant was discovered inside a car with all windows closed and the vehicle painted in a bright red color.

A sledgehammer found in his own car unexpectedly transformed Steve Eckel into a hero. He is a retired police officer and father of six.

Having recently finished a renovation project, he was in possession of a sledgehammer. The infant, who was dressed in a pink onesie, was in a vulnerable state, sweating profusely, and rapidly losing consciousness.


Breaking into the van, Eckel rescued the infant and comforted her, while also calling for medical assistance.


After investigation, it was discovered that the temperature inside the car was approximately 120 degrees. Praising his own bravery in a recent video, the retired cop remarked that everything happens for a reason.

The World Health Organization reports that in the United States, over 36 newborns perish annually due to overheating in cars. Steve’s quick thinking and discovery of the sledgehammer proved to be life-saving for the infant and her family.

There are two methods to guarantee the safety of your children in the car. One is to use car seat alarms that alert the driver when the infant is in the seat. The other is to use apps that remind you to regularly double-check the backseat.

Additional recommendations include placing a shoe, pocketbook, or wallet in the backseat to avoid forgetting your child in a distracted moment. Adopting these small habits is an easy way to ensure your children’s safety and prevent any incidents of leaving them behind.