Shadow Lantry and her family recently visited the courthouse in Pasco County, Florida. Her partner put their daughter into the car seat in their Chevy Tahoe, then threw the keys up toward the front. It wasn’t until Shadow shut the doors that the family realized in horror that the SUV had locked itself.
Shadow knew they couldn’t pay a locksmith, so her partner insisted on smashing the passenger seat window to pull the baby to safety.
But just before he went to break the glass, a group of unlikely heroes saved the day.
Low-level offenders on work release were fixing up the medians outside the courthouse when they learned about the entrapped toddler. Clad in black-and-white striped prison uniforms, the men ran over to the SUV and ultimately used a clothes hanger to open the lock.
Luckily, it was a pleasant 56 degrees outside, so the toddler seemed to be comfortable during the ordeal, happily sucking on her pacifier.
Shadow stood back and watched the inmates with awe, recording the surprising scene for Facebook. The clip went viral with tens of thousands of views.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said that it is not every day that an inmate is permitted to use his or her “skill set” to break into someone else’s vehicle. “There’s only a very small percentage of those criminals out there that want to fight us and want to attack us,” he told local news, “but a lot of them, like these individuals, they know they made bad mistakes, bad choices, but they want to do the right thing in life.”
As one Facebook comment says, “Compassion comes from all walks of life. Thank you to these amazing strangers for saving that sweet baby girl.”