Strangers, firefighter save boy, 4, left inside hot car in Queens; dad arrested

John Montone
August 09, 2019 - 6:43 am
Matthew Clinton

Sara Miller


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A 4-year-old boy trapped in a hot car in Queens is safe, thanks to a group of strangers who came to his rescue.

Among the strangers - one of New York's bravest.

Police say it was around 4 p.m. Thursday that concerned passersby at a Target on 20th Avenue in College Point surrounded a locked car in the parking lot, that was off with the windows up, carrying a helpless young boy inside. AccuWeather says temperatures in the area were in the middle to upper 80s.

Around the same time, firefighter Matthew Clinton made a stop at the store, where he pulled up near the crowd and saw the child in a car seat "visibly distressed."

As the crowd grew, Clinton asked if anyone had an object he could use to break into the car. Someone handed him a hammer, which he used to smash open the driver's side window and unlock the door. Several people from the crowd then climbed into the backseat to help remove the boy, described as "sweating profusely," from the car seat.

Police arrived by the time the child was removed, and NYPD officers kept the boy in an air-conditioned police car until paramedics arrived. The 4-year-old was taken to Flushing Hospital for observation and released a short time later. He is said to be okay.

The boy's father, identified by police as Geremie Ram of New Rochelle, returned to the car about 30 minutes later, where he was arrested. The 42 year-old has been charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Acting in a Manner to Injure a Child and Reckless Endangerment. 

A source with knowledge of the investigation tells 1010 WINS the child's father is suspected of driving to the location to buy illegal drugs.

The boy has since been placed in the care of relatives.

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