But did he do the right thing?
Is it “mum shaming” or speaking up?
Is it interfering or a being a good citizen?
Should bystanders speak up or mind their own business?
A video of a young man confronting a mother who left her baby locked in a hot car is dividing opinion across the world.
Californian man Carl Paz was walking past a mobile phone shop in Torrance, California, when he noticed the baby inside the car with the windows all closed.
He told CBS Local his uncle pointed out the child.
“He was crying and my uncle made a comment, ‘Man, that’s just, that’s sick. That’s wrong,’ ” he said.
He said he waited about two minutes, looked again, “double-take inside the car for about five seconds, decided it was wrong and I headed inside the store.”
The temperature on that Californian day was around 27 degrees.
So Paz walked inside the mobile phone store to confront the child’s mother.
“Who’s the one who left the baby in the car?” Paz asks.
“Yea, he’s right there,” the mother replies.
“But why? Because I’m standing right here.”
She says that because she can see the car it is okay.
“He’s not crying, I’m watching him,” she adds “I don’t care what you got to say, really.”
The two go back and forth with Paz telling the mother the baby is crying. She denies it. The sales assistant gets fed up with Paz and threatens to call the police on him.
Finally after a tense and lengthy confrontation she goes to retrieve the baby.
Carl Pax told KFiam Radio the mother left the baby for at least eight minutes.
Eight long minutes in which the child would have been exposed to temperature levels of nearly 40 degrees.
The Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University, have shown that within 10 minutes the temperature in an enclosed vehicle will rise an average of 19 degrees or 82 percent of its eventual one hour rise.
But after the situation resolved, after the mother retrieved her crying baby, what Paz did next left some scratching their heads – he uploaded the video he had taken to social media.
Paz says he uploaded it because it was not right and he wanted to “spread awareness”
Others say he should have just taken it to the police and didn’t need to take to Facebook and “shame the mother.”
He later wrote on Facebook “Remember to share this, and tag your local news station. I wanna let everyone know about what happened here. This is just straight up NOT right.
Never feel discouraged to speak up when you see something wrong.”
The video has now been viewed over 975,000 times since it was uploaded to Facebook.
See it here:
After its media profile the video has now been seen by the police who say they are looking into whether a crime was committed.
Some online commentators have framed the video as a man “shaming” a mother. Free Range Kids ran the post with a headline: Viral Video: Man Shames Mom For Leaving Baby in Car During Errand.
Lenore Skenazy writes:
The mom is right. There is nothing wrong with a child waiting a few minutes in a car.
Yes, I know we have been exhorted to believe every child in every parked car, even 10 feet from a parent, is in immediate danger of heat stroke or kidnapping. But in fact, the most dangerous thing the mom did that day was drive her child at all. Kids are in more danger in moving cars than parked ones, and yet we don’t make viral videos every time a mom drives her kid to the mall.
Comments on social media echo her thoughts:
“All u DO GOODERS!! Seriously u can’t tell me you’ve never left your sleeping child in your car to put petrol in or go in and pay! For God sake! She could see her child at all times!”
“Oh for goodness sake. She was just a few metres from the car, she had full view of her child. Mind yr own business.”
While others call him a hero who may have saved this baby’s life.
“Blood oath! He had every right to confront his woman and shame her. I would of also called the police as this is against the law to leave a baby/child in a car alone. Hot cars can kill. If you can’t do the right thing, don’t reproduce. Idiot”
Another: “If you leave your child in the car to get petrol your crazy , there are so many accidents at fuel stations, 5 min extra to take your child out of the car could save the child’s life x”
And this “For those that say ‘Mind your own business’…its that attitude that gets children killed! As for those that say ‘She wasnt far away, she was only gone a minute’…get with reality…thats all it takes for someone sicko to snatch a child!”
Sadly the mother in the video has now become a victim herself being forced to shutdown her social media accounts after receiving death threats and abuse.
Carl Paz told KFiam Radio he didn’t want to call the police as he didn’t want the baby to suffer if law enforcement got involved.
He just wanted the mother to get the baby out of the car.
Good on him.
This isn’t mum-shaming – this is speaking out when you see an injustice. This is stepping up rather than ignoring a crime.
If filming it and uploading it to Facebook stops another parent doing the same thing then what Carl Paz did was not being a “do gooder” – but a life saver.