KATY, Texas — A cellphone video purporting to film children being rescued from a hot car while their mother was in a hair salon, actually showed a woman breaking into her own SUV after accidentally locking her toddlers — and her keys — in the vehicle, witnesses say.
"It's not like she left the kids in the car, no," said Azir Brohi. "It's not like she did something wrong."
Brohi, owner of Postal Plus One, has surveillance video from inside the suburban Houston store showing the mother walk in with her two toddlers. The children play in the store while Mom wraps up an errand. She then takes one child by the hand, and the three walk out together.
"When she finished, she went outside and was putting her kids in the car like normal," said Heidy Lopez, a Postal Plus One employee. "When she was finished putting them in the car seat, I guess that's when it locked and that's when everything happened."
In a phone call with KHOU, the mom said that after locking her kids in the car, she called her insurance company and was told it be two hours before someone could come to open the Jeep.
At that point, the woman appears on the store video frantically walking back in, asking for help. Another customer inside the store grabbed a hammer and went out into the lot and broke the Jeep's back window. On cellphone video posted online by KHOU-TV that went viral Monday, children can be heard crying in the background and the mother appears upset.
"She was screaming, trying to get the little girl to open the door," said Gabriel del Valle, who made the original cellphone video and said he thought the woman had come from a hair salon.
In fact, it was Mom who climbed through the broken SUV window to reach her children. Witnesses said the toddlers were in the car less than five minutes.
"Like a caring mother, she watches over her kids," said Lopez.
As the video continues, the customer who broke the window walks back into Postal Plus One with cuts on his arm followed by the mother and her two toddlers sipping on bottles of water.
"They were OK," said Lopez. "She seemed happy and relieved. She came inside because she wanted to calm down after everything that happened."
The woman and her children were not identified. The police were not called, and the Harris County Sheriff's Department is not investigating the incident.