Toddler found unconscious in hot car

July 15, 2008 8:49:07 PM PDT
A 2-year-old boy was revived after being found not breathing in a locked car Tuesday.Police say for about three and a half hours Meira Lebovitz, 33, of Passaic mom left a 2-year-old boy in the back seat of a Chevy Suburban in the heat.

''The only thing I can say is that remember that all kids are accounted for especially in the heat,'' Sgt. Robert Bracken said.

Investigators say Lebovitz didn't do that. At 10:30 in the morning police said she put the boy in the Suburban with 5 other children and headed to a day-care.

Authorities say a group of moms in Passaic County takes turns babysitting and carpooling each other's children.

She dropped the other kids off, went home and then hours later headed to Home Depot on Bloomfield Avenue in Clifton, New Jersey.

That entire time the child was in strapped into the third row seat. Police say Lebovitz didn't realize it until she was about to leave the store.

"She ran with the child into the entrance of the Home Depot, screamed for help," Bracken said. "Some civilians were there and started CPR on the child."

The child was rushed to to St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson in stable condition. He reportedly suffered dehydration due to the estimated 100-plus degree temperatures inside the van.

Police arrested Lebovitz, but her neighbors and friends are coming to her defense.

''It's the type of thing that can happen to anyone under a lot of stress, especially someone who's as fine a person and a great person,"said Avi Hyman.

Police say Lebovitz was distraught during questioning.

"She's getting a little bit better now that she found out the child is doing OK," Bracken said.

Lebovitz is charged with abandonment. She will face a judge Wednesday morning.

The boy's parents are reportedly returning from a Vermont vacation to be by his side.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporters Toni Yates and Jeff Pegues

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King and Bob Monek