You know when you have a really bad day at work? This is worse.
When police officers in London received a call reporting a young baby locked in a car in a hospital car park, they followed procedure to the letter.
They noted the discolouration of the baby’s head – the only part of its body visible over the children’s blanket it was wrapped in. They concluded, based on their medical training, that the baby was unwell and in dire need of assistance.
They tried, and failed, to locate the vehicle’s owner.
They tested the doors, and then, deciding it was an emergency, they broke one of the car’s rear windows.
They pulled the ailing baby from the back seat and cradled it in their loving arms.
They patted each other on the back and prepared to be lauded as heroes of the people.
And then they realised they had accidentally rescued a frighteningly realistic child’s doll.
Needless to say, the owner of the car was pretty darn annoyed when she returned to find her window broken and a bunch of sheepish-looking officers hanging around holding her ten-year-old sister’s doll.
Delesia Rattray, who wad visiting the hospital with her younger sister Janaih, was even more upset to discover that police had no plans to pay for the damage.
“I just got back to my car and I seen a smashed window,” Rattray told BBC Radio.
“It was just all really crazy. It was like – not a normal thing that would happen.”
“If they looked properly, they would have noticed it was a doll.”
She insists the doll was not wrapped as it appears in the picture the police posted to Facebook and Twitter, and that her sister just “threw it on the seat.” (#PoliceConspiracy.)
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) September 30, 2015
The district’s Police Chief Inspector, Phil Dolby, maintains that his officers did the right thing.
“I apologise to the owner of the car who knows the reasons why my officers took the action they did. She will hopefully agree that had it have been a baby in distress and had they not acted, they would be subject of this scrutiny for all the wrong reasons.”
Since Rattray approached the media with her story, police have offered to reimburse her for the damage.
And yet, in all of the furore surrounding the incident, the most important question seems to have been ignored entirely:
Why – DEAR GOD WHY – would anyone purchase a doll this terrifying for a child?