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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