WEST HAVEN, Utah (ABC4) –Weber County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement in response to the situation in West Haven where a toddler was locked in the apartment alone for more than three hours.
Kaitlynd Burtschell and her husband were locked out of their apartment on Tuesday night around 6:30 p.m. at Bria apartments, with their toddler locked inside for over three hours. They requested help from Weber County Sheriff’s office, however, authorities did not break into their apartment saying it was not “an emergency.”
In response to the incident, Weber County Sheriff’s office released a statement saying they are investigating the incident.
“Based on the information provided in the news report, as well as information gathered through the internal review, we are disappointed in the response exhibited by the deputies that arrived on [the] scene.”
They stated that the Supreme Court has recognized an emergency aid exception to the warrant requirement, which allows law enforcement officers to enter a home without a warrant to render emergency assistance to an injured occupant or to protect an occupant from imminent injury.
According to the statement, deputies cited a lack of imminent danger to the child, as well as civil liability for damage to the property. However, the Weber County sheriff’s office said they have instructed the deputies involved that they would have supported their forced entry into the residence.
The Sheriff’s Office said they have updated a consent form that will be used in the future to streamline the process during these types of events.
“We would like to thank Weber 911 Center for their proactive involvement in reviewing this incident. After learning about the situation, the director of the center reached out on his time off to help provide information and begin reviewing the incident from dispatch’s perspective.”
The Sheriff’s Office also included a thank you for Burtchell.
“We also appreciate the individual involved in this incident who brought us the information, granting us the opportunity to address the situation,” the statement said. “We are committed to improving emergency response protocol by equipping our deputies with the proper knowledge and training needed to continue serving Weber County residents with unmatched excellence, integrity, and dedication.”
For more information on what happened in the original incident, including video evidence of the toddler stuck in a highchair and conversations recorded with deputies, click on the link below.