Family, Neighbors of Man Accused of Not Letting Cops Break Window to Free Daughter from Hot Car Speak Out
GoFundMe; Sayah Deal to the Las Vegas Police Department; Sidney Deal
The mother of a Las Vegas man charged with the death of his 1-year-old daughter, who died Monday night in a locked Nissan Altima, said her son was not negligent.
Sidney Deal, 27, was arrested Tuesday and charged with child molestation, neglect or endangerment, resulting in serious bodily harm after he accidentally locked his 21-month-old daughter Sayah Deal in his hot car. He then allegedly refused to break the windows to free her, apparently not wanting to damage the car and believing it was in an air conditioner.
"He asked the officers to help him," Sidney Deal's mother Artavia Wilson told KLAS. “My son was not negligent. The way he handled it wasn't that he cared about the car anymore. He thought his daughter was in the air conditioner. "
He hasn't submitted a request yet.
His lawyer, Robert Langford, declined to comment.
"I haven't had a chance to meet with him yet," he tells PEOPLE. "We're very early in the process."
Set up marked officers on site around 3:30 p.m. Monday. Officials offered to break the windows, call a tow truck, or get a locksmith for Deal who, according to the Las Vegas Journal Review, left his keys in the car, citing an arrest report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Authorities said Deal refused, telling responding officers that the child would be fine because the air conditioning was on. Instead, Deal called his brother.
When the brother arrived and offered to hit out the window, Deal reportedly "stopped him and said he wanted to wait for a tow truck" and "insisted not to damage his new vehicle, stating that he just got the car bought and didn't. " Money to fix a broken window, "the arrest report said, according to the review journal.
Deal's friend also reportedly told police she called a locksmith, but the father didn't like the price they were quoting, so he declined her services, the outlet reported.
Police believe Sayah had been in the hot car for over an hour when an officer finally broke a window, Las Vegas Sun reported.
At this point, Sayah was already dead, according to the publication.
Vegas City Police Officer Larry Hadfield said officers waited to break into the car because Deal was relentless to protect the vehicle and they could still see the child breathing.
"The officers came and saw the child breathing," he tells PEOPLE. “The parents were determined not to break the window. They tried all other means and the officer got worried and broke the window. "
"It is a tragic event," he says. “The police encourage parents and friends not to leave children unattended in vehicles. This is one of those circumstances that could have been prevented. "
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"The cops got out and helped him with the car, and when he said the air was on, they said, 'Oh, OK' - a locksmith came over," said Deal's mother Artavia Wilson. “My son is a great father ... he works. He is a very responsible young man. "
Darius Jones, a neighbor of Deal's girlfriend, told the Review Journal that he believed what happened was a tragic accident.
"I can truly say that this baby has loved her since it was little," he said. "I've never seen a bad time when he had this little girl in his possession."
But the little girl's mother, Mariah Coleman, 28, said she wanted justice for her daughter.
"If you loved and cared for your daughter so much, why did you let her die?" Coleman said at a vigil for Sayah Tuesday night, the Review Journal reports.
"He had no remorse in his mug shot," she said. "My baby is gone and I need someone who can."
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 3rd.
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