Petersburg cop: Dog alerted me 18-month-old was in hot truck

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) – A Petersburg police officer describes what happened when his son was found trapped inside a hot truck, just a day after prosecutors decided not to file charges against him.

The officer, who wants to remain anonymous because he works undercover, told CBS 6 News’ Lorenzo Hall that the family’s German Shepherd may have saved the child’s life.

The officer said he taking a nap before work in mid-July when his dog jumped on his chest to let him know something was wrong.

He said he had told his children to behave while he napped and to wake him if they needed anything.

“I was really surprised my kids went outside while I was taking a nap before work,” said the officer.

The officer said two of his three children, an 18-month old and 4-year old, had somehow managed to not only get outside, but also climb into his pickup truck.

That’s where he found the 18-month old still inside the vehicle, overheated.  He rushed the toddler to hospital and the boy was examined as a precaution.

Prosecutors said the officer will not face charges because there was no evidence or witnesses and the officer’s actions weren’t criminal in nature.

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said he is surprised no charges were filed. In fact, Stone said if the officer simply admits to falling asleep while caring for children, that it would be enough to move forward.

“This is something that could be charged,” said Stone. “If he took a nap and allowed the kids to roam around and do as they please,  that could be enough for the misdemeanor charge by itself.”

However, the officer said it is just not that simple.

“We’re all human. We all make mistakes,” the officer told Hall. “I try and do the best I can as a father for three kids….being a single father for three kids more or less.”

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