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2 police officers suspended, overlooked child in towed car

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) – Two Lake County police officers have been suspended without pay for overlooking a 3-year-old child in the back seat of a car towed away following a traffic stop.

Detective Nikolaos Zairis was suspended for 15 days and Lt. William Paterson was suspended for five days.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich says it “sickens” him that the officers didn’t thoroughly search the car as police procedures call for when vehicles are to be towed away.

The (Munster) Times reports a 21-year-old Merrillville woman pulled over March 21 for speeding was cited for reckless driving and taken to the Lake County Jail.

Police called a towing service to remove the car, but the tow-truck driver heard a child crying while towing and alerted police.

The child was returned unharmed to relatives.