Every year, we hear terrible stories of parents who accidentally left their babies in hot cars to die. Normally, we have some degree of sympathy for the overworked, "mom-brained" parents who are devastated to have forgotten their kid in the car and left him or her to slowly roast to death. I think that we've all had those stressed out moments when a sleeping babe in the backseat has just left our minds for a moment and we suddenly realize, OMG, that could have happened to me! But this case is different. Daniel Bryant Gray, while no doubt equally as devastated at his 3-month-old son Jamison Gray's death after being left in a hot car, has been arrested on manslaughter and child abuse charges. Because he hadn't just mistakenly left his kid after a busy day. He was reportedly off smoking marijuana with a friend while his baby died.
Gray was allegedly smoking pot with a friend when he "lost track of time" while his baby was locked in a hot car in the parking lot of a pub in Scottsdale, Arizona. Reportedly, the baby was in the car for an hour -- which doesn't seem like that long, but way too long to have any child that young anywhere by itself unless it's sleeping in its bedroom with a monitor nearby. Let alone in a car outside of a bar.
It was 102 degrees in Scottsdale that day.
When Gray came out of the bar (no word on where he toked up), he found his son unresponsive and called 911. Police officers on the scene could not revive the baby.
Initially, Gray reportedly told investigators that he had stopped by the bar on "business" and got distracted -- but they later came to believe he was smoking with his friend.
One hour may not seem that long, but in that temp, it certainly is. In fact, it can only take 15 minutes for a child to die inside a hot car.
There's just really no excuse here. Not only to leave a baby for that long, when certainly the heat outside must have made itself excruciatingly apparent, but to be off smoking dope instead of watching your kid. Say what you like about pot, there's a reason it's an illegal drug. It alters your mind. It can impair your judgment. And, yes, that can lead to tragedies like this.
Do you think the dad should have been charged with manslaughter?
Image via Maricopa County Sheriff's Office