SANTA FE — A snoozing baby got a surprise visit from the governor Wednesday afternoon, and her dad got a lecture from city police.
Santa Fe Police were called at about 2 p.m. by State Police agent Tony Fetty, who is a member of Gov. Susana Martinez’s security detail.
Fetty reported a baby girl, about 1-year-old, alone and asleep in the back of a car with the motor running in the St. Francis Drive Walgreens parking lot.
Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said the governor had stopped for cold medicine after reading to children in three Santa Fe-area schools as part of a national reading program. As she and Fetty were backing up, Fetty thought he saw a child alone in the car next to them.
Fetty asked the governor if she saw a baby in the car, Darnell said. The governor said she did and that it looked as though no one else was in the vehicle.
They pulled back into their parking space and walked around the car to see whether anyone was inside, Darnell said. The governor got the make and model and went back inside the store, where she had the staff page the owner.
Darnell said Martinez went outside to check on the baby and found the door was unlocked and the car was running with the air conditioner on. She checked the child by touching her and found the baby was sleeping and was not overheated.
The child’s father came out soon after that, and they spoke until police arrived.
Darnell said the situation was dangerous, because someone could have easily stolen the running car.
“Who knows when he (a possible car thief) would have recognized that there was a sleeping baby in the back seat,” he said.
According to police, a city officer spoke to the father, who said the girl had been crying and wouldn’t stop. She was beginning to calm down as he was about to run an errand at the store, and he did not want to disturb her by taking her inside. He said he only needed one item from the store.
He was inside a couple minutes before coming back out, police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns said.
Dobyns said the father was not charged with a crime, but was “scolded” by the officer.
The child was not injured, Dobyns said.