HOUSTON, Texas — A 29-year-old father, his seven-month-old baby, and the baby’s mother were stranded in the elevator of the Houston area Baybrook Dillard Department store on Sunday. The father said that management knew that the elevator was not working but was negligent in not properly notifying customers. After they had been trapped in the elevator and were released, management pretended that customers had been notified of the problems with the elevator. The father asked Breitbart Texas “What if a small child had gotten on the elevator!?”
Matthew Barlow, the father of the baby girl, told Breitbart Texas that they could not use the escalators because the baby was in the stroller. The baby department was on the third floor and they had to take the elevator.
The parents entered the elevator with their infant. There were no signs saying that it was broken or out-of-order. Barlow said the department chain should have put tape across the door, or put out other prominent signage. He said “they just did not handle the situation right.”
The Friendswood, Texas family was trapped in the elevator for over an hour. The electricity was cut-off at one point, they think to work on the elevator. The parents rang the bell to alert others that they were trapped in the elevator. There was no air conditioning and the baby was crying. The child’s mother is claustrophobic and she was very uncomfortable.
Both parents were concerned about their child. They sat in the bottom of the dark elevator, baby crying, wondering when they would be rescued. They had no idea if they would be there all night, or if the Fire Department was coming.
When they got out of the elevator, there was a handwritten sign on a piece of paper posted to a movable metal board. The sign was not there when the couple and the infant first entered. Barlow felt that even though management apologized, they were condescending because they said there were signs warning about the elevator problems. Barlow said “I promise you I would not have gotten in the elevator if I knew it was broken, and I certainly would not have with a small child.”
Breitbart Texas called the Baybrook Dillard’s Department Store and asked for comments from the management, and for video footage of the elevator. A Dillard’s employee said she was not authorized to comment and would have management return the call in the morning.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and 22-year lawyer who has served as a judge and a prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.