NYC school librarian arrested for allegedly leaving baby daughter in hot car for over 5 hours, coworker rescued trapped infant by smashing window

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A New York City school librarian was arrested for leaving his baby in a hot car for more than five hours, according to police. Thankfully, a school employee rescued the trapped infant before possible death.

At 2:48 p.m. on Thursday, Michael Dodes was arrested at Walter J. Damrosch School – his place of employment. Dodes is accused of leaving his 1-year-old daughter alone in his 2014 Subaru Forester outside the school in the Bronx for more than five hours. Dodes was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The married father-of-two allegedly parked his car in front of the school in Morrisania. He then reportedly left his infant daughter in the vehicle as he went to work at the Walter J. Damrosch School.

Dodes, 41, was recently hired as a librarian. However, school officials said Dodes wasn’t slated to begin working until next month.

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Another school employee noticed the baby unattended inside the hot car. The school employee frantically smashed the rear passenger window, according to police. Dodes’ coworker rescued the trapped infant.

The baby was allegedly conscious and alert when she was saved. She was rushed to the Bronx Lebanon Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

City schools spokesperson Jenna Lyle said, “We commend the heroism of the school staff member who took action to remove this child from danger. Upon learning of this incident, the school immediately contacted NYPD and EMS who responded to the scene. This employee is being reassigned away from students.”

Dodes has been employed by the education department since 2007, according to New York City’s Department of Education.

The New York State Education Department previously said of Dodes, “Michael Dodes had been a Library Media Specialist serving high needs students in the Bronx and Harlem for more than 9 years prior to becoming a Library Coordinator for the New York City Department of Education in 2016.”

According to a LinkedIn page attributed to him, Dodes previously worked as the library coordinator for the Queens Office of School Library Service in 2017. Before that position, Dodes reportedly worked as a library coordinator for North Brooklyn.

A 2021 profile for Dodes on the New York City School Tech Summit website said, “Michael has expertise in coding, instructional technology, copyright laws & licensing, and accessibility, all of which he runs extensive professional development on.”

The listing added that Dodes has “expertise in copyright law, privacy, digital and physical accessibility, coding, website/graphic design, and gaming.”

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