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Good Samaritan frees dog from locked car

Posted at 3:57 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 20:29:11-04

A man who smashed a stranger’s car window over the weekend is saying he’d do it again.

The result of his actions – he says – is more important than a car window.

“I don’t want somebody to come by and break my window. I would be upset, very upset,” says Brad Griffin.

But he had no problem breaking into a stranger’s car in a grocery store parking lot over the weekend, because there was something valuable inside that needed to get out.

“You could see him running back and forth in the back seat crying. The windows were cracked, all four windows were cracked, but you could see the dog was in the back seat panting,” Griffin says.

From the minute he arrived at the store, Griffin says he knew the dog in this locked car needed rescuing. He made an attempt to reach its owner via the store’s intercom system.

“I went to talk to a girl, said hey can you page the owner of the car, its in a handicapped spot, there’s a dog in there if they could come get the dog. I went to get my groceries, came back, checked out. When I checked out the dog was still in there,” he said.

So he took matters into his own hands.

“I couldn’t fit my hand through the opening, so I went into my truck, I had a pipe to jack up a car, went back to the car and busted the window,” Griffin says.

He got the dog out and finally found its owner before calling the police – to report himself.

Right now Griffin faces no charges for the rescue, saying the dog’s owner actually apologized and thanked him. But even if the owner reacted differently, he says he’d do it again.

“I’m sorry for what happened to the window but I’m not sorry for the decision I made. If that dog lives another day, I’m proud of what I did. A window could be replaced,” he  says.

Under a new Louisiana law that took effect this month, you do not face liability for breaking a window to free a child or a dog locked in a hot car.

However, there are requirements.

Under the law, if a “good Samaritan” does the following before breaking the window, they can’t be charged for the break-in. The language below is from the part of the law that applies to children; there is an identical section that applies to animals.

1) Makes a good-faith attempt, based on the circumstances known to the person at the time, to locate the owner of the motor vehicle before entering,  forcibly or otherwise, the vehicle.

2) Contacts the local law enforcement agency, the fire department, or the 911 emergency operator before entering the motor vehicle forcibly or otherwise.

3) Determines the motor vehicle is locked and has a good-faith belief 2 that there are no other reasonable means for the minor to be removed from the vehicle.

4) Believes that removal of the minor from the motor vehicle is necessary because the minor is in imminent danger of suffering harm.

5) Uses force that was reasonably necessary under the circumstances to enter the motor vehicle to rescue the minor.

6) Places a notice on the windshield of the motor vehicle providing details of the person’s contact information, the reason the entry was made, the location of the minor, and notice that the proper authorities have been notified.

7) Remains with the minor in a safe location, out of the elements of nature but reasonably close to the motor vehicle, until emergency responders from law enforcement, or fire, arrive, unless the person cannot remain with the minor, in which case the person shall notify the local law enforcement agency, the fire department, or the 911 emergency operator, as applicable, before leaving the motor vehicle, and shall then take the minor to the closest police station, or hospital, as applicable. (For animals, the animal must be taken to the nearest shelter).