Father leaves infant and dog in hot car while he toured an Upstate gym

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In Spartanburg, South Carolina, an Upstate man  was arrested for leaving his infant and his dog inside of a hot car while he toured a gym last week. Justin Wayne Hatcher, the father of the child, was arrested and charged with child neglect and the mistreatment of animals.

According to WspaNews, police were summoned after a passerby reported a baby and and a dog locked in a car at the Planet Fitness on E. Main Street. When questioned, Hatcher first claimed he had gone into the gym to use the restroom and had only been away from the vehicle for a few minutes. Security footage later confirmed Hatcher had been inside of the gym for 17 minutes. An officer measured the temperature at that time at 94 degrees. In fact, a gym employee confirmed Hatcher had asked about a membership and was taken on a 15 minute tour of the facility.

When Hatcher amended his story, he told authorities he left his daughter and dog in the vehicle and was not worried – knowing that his dog would protect the baby. A witness confirmed the infant was breathing heavily and alerted the staff at the gym who removed the baby.

The child was rushed to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center and was placed in emergency protective custody. The baby is reported to be fine. The dog was also removed and taken to Animal Services.

Hatcher has since been released from jail.

(Photo via Spartanburg County Detention Center)

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16 replies
  1. maxiemom says:

    What an IDIOT!!! How the HELL is his dog going to protect his daughter and keep her from dying of heat stroke, especially if his dog ALSO dies from it?

    This is one SOS who should be kept away from his daughter and lose custody of his dog for the rest of his ignorant life.

    • Animal snd child advocate says:

      Can’t believe he was released from jail ! I say lock him in his car, throw away the key and hope the infant can live with Grandparents or a loving family with common sense and the dog is rehomed as well. He should not have children nor pets ever!

    • Sherry says:

      His statement is comical about the dog protecting the baby !! Maybe instead of touring a gym to work on his body, he should devote a little time to developing his PEA BRAIN. LOSER.

  2. Adrienne says:

    He actually said he wasn’t worried because the dog would protect the baby. Was the dog going to open the windows or turn on the air conditioner in the car? That father’s head is fried. Would love to know what his wife said to him. Bet it’s worse than if he were in prison.Probably safer there.

    • Bunny Peters says:

      If those treasures were my baby and furbaby, the POS is safer in jail than at home……. I probably would be in jail for whatever I would have done to him to punish him for his stupidity with my babies…….

      Mom needs to do 3 things:

      1) change all the locks on the house…..

      2) move all money in joint accounts into new accounts to ensure the balances stay intact…..

      3) file for divorce and demand sole custody with court supervised visitation…..

      My Dad always said “common sense is not so common” & “you can fix lots of things, but you just can’t fix stupid”….. both clearly apply to this POS……

  3. Barbara Garabedian says:

    Sick ugly father doing this what a creepnever do this & leavechild dog or anything that breathes in ahotcar he hopefully punished & put in jail for a long time jerk bg

  4. Helen says:

    A real dirt bag and not very bright either. No thanks to this moron, good thing the daughter and dog are safe.

  5. Barkley's Mom says:

    Let’s all vote for this Idiot for “father of the year”. “the dog will protect the child”! Obviously this moron has never read about children and pets getting heat stroke in a hot car and children being left alone with dogs being bitten. I hope the mother of the child wakes up and realizes the father isn’t baby sitting material before it’s too late!

  6. Daniel Clarkson says:

    That father must have been absent when the brains were handed out. As has been said, “there’s no cure for stupid”. I just hope that the child and furbaby aren’t allowed to go back to him, ever. Hopefully this won’t happen again, but if it does, then the outcome may not be so good, with the child and furbaby coming out of the car as corpses. Too late then.

  7. Nancy Raymond says:

    Another knuckle dragging Neanderthal whose brains are stuck up his rear end – his priority was all about himself and his tour of a gym – he could use a smack in the head w/a 2×4 – Thank God a good Samaritan was observant and the child and dog were saved. – no thanks to this piss poor example of a father.


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