Friday, February 19, 2010

Dad charged with neglect, failure to pay child support; left baby in car, apparently during his visitation (Cape Coral, Florida)

It appears that dad LOUIS LANZANO had some sort of visitation with his infant daughter, though it sorely sounds like getting visitation was basically a way to reduce his child support obligations, since he apparently had not been paying anything. At any rate, Dad showed utter indifference to this baby by leaving her in the car while he went into a city utilities office to pay his water bill. Somebody even asked inside the building who had left a baby in a car, and there were a couple of announcements, but Dad kept his mouth shut. He later said he didn't hear. Yea, right.

Thank goodness for the good samaritan who rescued this baby before we had another infant fatality on our hands. Hopefully this will be the end of Dad's visitation. But given this is Florida, don't hold your breath.

Left inside car, infant is rescued by a passer-by in Cape Coral
Father was paying bill, faces neglect charge
By DENES HUSTY III • February 19, 2010

Go to our Children’s Resource Center, dedicated to help the children of our community grow up safe from abuse or neglect, promote strong families and provide information to people who want to help kids.

Daniel Cox of Cape Coral said he was at the right place at the right time.

He had gone to the city utilities office Thursday morning off Pine Island Road to pay his water bill when he spotted a crying baby girl inside a locked car in the parking lot. He immediately called 911.

But he didn't want to wait for police and rescue personnel to arrive, so he asked while still on the phone if he could break the window to rescue the baby.

Operators told him to go ahead.

"I got a lug wrench and banged on the driver's window six times, but it wouldn't give," said Cox, 45, who stocks shelves at a local Walmart. "So I wrapped my hand around the wrench and punched the window and it broke."

Cox said he unlocked the car and grabbed the baby.

"She was screaming," Cox said. "I held her for a couple of minutes to calm her down. She couldn't have been more than 2 months old.

"I just don't understand people."

Police arrived and arrested the baby's father, Louis Lanzano, 55, of Cape Coral, on charges of child neglect and not paying child support. Lanzano had gone to the utilities office to pay his water bill and left the baby in the car, according to Cape police.

A couple inside the building told employees about the baby.

"We asked two or three times if somebody had a baby in a car outside" but got no response, said Angela Puzio, a city employee. She said the father of the baby was talking to a service representative and apparently didn't hear the announcements.

Eventually, the man heard what was going on and went outside, Puzio said.

The baby was checked by rescue personnel and was then taken to the police station until the mother could pick her up, police said.

"She's fine," Cox said.