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School librarian busted for leaving daughter in car for 5 hours, NYPD says

Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/TNS

A librarian at a Bronx elementary school left his 1-year-old daughter in a parked SUV for five hours while he went to work, police said.

Another school worker at the Walter J. Damrosch School in Morrisania saw the child as he was passing by and with the help of a co-worker busted the car’s window on Thursday, saving the child, who is recovering. The baby’s father, Michael Dodes, 41, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare.

He was seen taking a box into the school at one point, but it wasn’t clear if he realized he had left his daughter in the car or if he checked on her, police said.

At about 2 p.m., a school employee saw the girl in the parked Subaru Forester and yet another employee busted the rear passenger window and rescued the child, police said.

“We commend the heroism of the school staff member who took action to remove this child from danger,” said Jenna Lyle, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education. “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.”

The girl was taken by medics to Bronx Lebanon Hospital in stable condition.

It wasn’t immediately clear if any of SUV’s windows were open.

The temperature Thursday topped out at 81 degrees, though the temperature inside a car can easily top 100 degrees in minutes.

In July 2019, twin 1-year-old Phoenix and Mariza Rodriguez, died inside a sweltering hot car in the Bronx after their father forget they were in the back seat and went to work.

The father, Juan Rodriguez, then 39 and living in New City, in Rockland County, was charged with two counts of manslaughter.

The father, who told investigators he “blanked out” and thought he had dropped them off at daycare, plead guilty to misdemeanor reckless endangerment and got a conditional discharge, avoiding time behind bars.