TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Police Department on Thursday honored four officers who rescued a baby found in an abandoned stolen car last summer.
Officers Steven Zawacki, Martin Pollak, Anthony Hardesty and Landon Harsin were honored with Life Saving Awards during the department’s quarterly awards ceremony on Thursday, police said in a news release. The department released body camera footage of the rescue on Thursday.
Officers responded to an apartment complex in Tampa on Aug. 5 after a woman reported her car was stolen with her 11-month daughter inside, WFLA-TV reported. The vehicle was found about 30 minutes later northwest of the city’s downtown area, according to the television station.
Body camera video shows Zawacki scaling a fence after spotting the vehicle, with Harsin, who was training with him, right behind, WFTS-TV reported.
“We hopped like a 6-foot fence just to get to the baby. We ran straight to the vehicle,” Harsin told the television station. “I know at the time; I think he was struggling with a little injury. But he cleared that fence. It was no issue just to get to that child.”
The officers found the baby in the vehicle with the door locked. The child was overheated and lethargic, WFLA reported.
Hardesty and Pollak arrived and took the girl to a patrol car and gave her a cold compress and some water to cool her down, according to the television station. Paramedics took her to an area hospital, and she was later reunited with her mother.
“I was emotional. I have kids of my own. And when we open the door, the child was motionless,” Zawacki told WFTS. “It appeared lifeless just leaning over the car seat.”
“Officer Pollack and I, having prior service in the military, were able to identify this is a heat injury and what to do,” Hardesty told the television station. “Cool the baby down. But not too fast. I don’t want to put the baby into shock.”
“We have kids, and my son was just born right before that, so it hit home a little bit,” Pollack told WFTS.
There have been no arrests in the case, according to the television station.
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