Posted on: March 20, 2023, 03:13h.
Last updated on: March 20, 2023, 04:34h.
A proposed bill will allow civilians in Nevada to break a window of a locked hot car if they see an animal or child trapped inside.
The bill, SB 190, would offer protections for good Samaritans. It is now before the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee.
If passed, SB 190 would give good Samaritans immunity from legal liability if they broke into the vehicle or used other “reasonable means” in such a rescue. Civilian rescuers would also receive immunity from civil and criminal liability for limited actions “to protect or remove a child or pet from a motor vehicle under certain circumstances,” according to the proposed legislation.
Currently, law enforcement officers or emergency service responders in Nevada are protected from civil and criminal liability if they force open a hot vehicle to remove a child or pet. Under certain circumstances, these officials can “use any reasonable means necessary to protect the child and to remove the child from the motor vehicle,” according to state law.
The same protections aren’t currently outlined under the law for civilians.
If a good Samaritan does attempt to rescue a trapped individual or pet, the passersby must stay at the vehicle until emergency responders show up, according to Las Vegas TV station KLAS. Officials, such as the police, fire department, or animal control must also be contacted.
Puppy Rescue at Bellagio
On July 21, 2022, a California man was arrested on an animal abuse charge after security officers at the Bellagio rescued a confined three-month-old puppy, news reports revealed. The 50-year-old man allegedly left the young dog in a sweltering car at the casino for two hours.
A casino security guard was alerted to the puppy being in the car. The puppy had no food or water and air conditioning wasn’t turned on. The dog’s mouth was taped with black electrical tape, according to Nevada TV station KSNV.
The officer entered the car by climbing in via a sunroof, police said. The vehicle’s temperature reached 107.8 degrees. The car was parked on the top of the Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino garage.
The Siberian Husky puppy survived the ordeal and was placed with a new family. She was named Duchess.
The suspect was identified as Raul Carbajal of Corona Del Mar, Calif. Police found a gaming ticket on Carbajal.
He was charged with suspicion of willful or malicious torture of a dog. He was to have appeared in court on Oct. 25, 2022.
Infant in Hot Vehicle
Authorities rescued a baby found alone in a locked car parked at Bighorn Casino in North Las Vegas in July 2021. The child was believed to be six months old at the time. The infant was transported to a pediatric unit.
Temperatures outside that day reached a high of 117 degrees in Las Vegas, according to AccuWeather.
The suspect, Mitchell Anthony Hooks, 39, of Las Vegas, was later arrested. Police said he was gambling in the venue and appeared intoxicated. Hooks was charged with child abuse and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle, according to KLAS.
It’s unclear how the case was adjudicated.