6 children rescued from locked hot car in Des Plaines, taken to hospital; father charged

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
6 kids rescued from locked hot car in Des Plaines, taken to hospital
Six children were rescued from a hot car in a Des Plaines residential parking lot and taken to Advocate Lutheran for treatment. Their father is charged.

DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) -- Six children were taken to the hospital after being found locked in a hot car in a parking lot in Des Plaines Monday afternoon.

The North Maine Fire Protection District said they were called to a wellbeing check at the Park Colony apartment complex in the 9100-block of Lincoln Drive in Des Plaines around 12:35 p.m.

When they arrived in the residential complex, they found six children in a van in the parking lot.

The property manager of the complex said she was alerted by a tenant about a van in the parking lot with six children in it, including two babies in car seats. The property manager said she could not see any food or water in the van, so she called 911. She said two windows were slightly open, but she said the kids were crying and clearly in distress in the locked car.

"They were all crying. 911 could barely hear me," said Melissa Compton, property manager. "The operator was getting mad at me because she couldn't hear me."

The Cook County Sheriff's Office said the children were aged 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 18-months old. Sheriff's police said when they arrived the children "did not appear to be in distress," but were visibly overheated.

"They looked hot, and I was hot standing there, and I wasn't even in the car. So I can imagine in the car was probably much," Compton said.

NMFPD confirmed that six minors were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital for treatment. They did not release any information about the ages of the children involved, or their conditions.

DCFS is evaluating placement for the children, the sheriff's office said.

Shortly after 4 p.m., a man came out of the back of a Cook County Sheriff's vehicle and got into the van. He confirmed he was the vehicle's owner, but ABC7 has not been able to confirm he is the father who's been charged, so we are concealing his identity. The man sad the children were doing OK.

"I get it. It's hard. I raised three kids by myself, and I know it's not easy," Compton said. "If you have little people, you're responsible for them. Leaving them alone is not the answer."

The sheriff's office said they searched the apartment complex and found the children's father, who said he works for a cleaning service and left the van to clean a residence at 11:30 a.m. The Cook County Sheriff's Office has not released the father's name or any further information.

He was charged with six counts of misdemeanor child endangerment and released on his own recognizance, law enforcement said. He will appear in court on June 22.