Off-duty cop breaks car window to save trapped baby

Off-duty cop breaks car window to save trapped baby
Interview with an off duty officer who broke the glass of a vehicle to save a 10 month old child locked inside accidentally by the mother.
PHOTO: TNP

Last July, chief investigating officer Koh Koon Beng was on a shopping trip with his wife and two children when he heard distressed shouts.

A woman in her 30s was crying hysterically next to her luxury car in the carpark of an Orchard Road mall.

Mr Koh, 50, thought it was a case of robbery at first but upon closer inspection, he saw a 10-month old boy strapped to a booster seat on the car's backseat while his mother was locked out of the car.

Said Mr Koh: "The baby was screaming and crying, and the car keys were in the car with him."

Mr Koh, immediately stepped in to help her and his quick-thinking act was posted on the Singapore Police Force's Facebook page on Monday.

Recounting the incident to The New Paper, Mr Koh said that he approached the woman, who told him she was loading groceries into the back of her car when the doors accidentally locked.

WORRIED FOR BABY

The woman added the child had been trapped in the car for about 10 minutes.

She had called the police for help, but Mr Koh remained worried about the baby.

"The fastest way to get the baby out was to break the car's window.

"But we had to identify the best way so the baby would not be hurt and also to minimise the amount of damage to the car," said Mr Koh, who specialises in crime investigation and has been with the police force since 1981.

As his wife and kids consoled the distraught mother, Mr Koh carefully cracked the quarter glass with a steering lock stored in his car.

Within five minutes, he broke the glass, unlocked the left car door from the inside and freed the young boy.

"The baby surprisingly stopped crying the moment I carried him out of the car," said Mr Koh.

While the mother declined to be interviewed, she expressed her gratitude for his help, and thanked him and his family profusely while they were waiting for the police to arrive.

She also sent an e-mail to Mr Koh one week after the incident to convey her appreciation to Mr Koh and his family.

Said Mr Koh: "As a policeman, I am effectively on duty round the clock. The safety of the baby was most important to me at the time, so I only did the best I could."


This article was first published on July 8, 2015.
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