Shannon Dominguez says "it scares the heck out of" her when she sees a child left in a hot car. So when the 43-year-old and boyfriend Alan Mason saw a young boy in what Dominguez describes as a car in direct sunlight with its windows up in a Colorado Dollar Tree parking lot last month, they called 911. Within minutes, however, Dominguez was fearing for her own life. The boy's mom, Kristina Riddell, "heard me on the phone with police," threatened her, then punched her boyfriend in the face, Dominguez tells Fox31 Denver. Then, as the couple stood in an empty parking spot, police say Riddell got in her car and sped toward the pair, striking Dominguez, then Mason, before fleeing the scene.
Though the boy's condition isn't known, doctors tell Dominguez she may never walk the same way again. "My tibia has a spiral break. My fibula has three breaks in it. They put a rod in there," she says, noting she's currently confined to a wheelchair. Mason says he suffered internal and external bruising after he flew over the woman's hood, grabbed onto her door to try and get her to stop, and "she drug me about 20 feet." Still, they don't regret making the call. "If it means helping a child, I’d do it in a heartbeat," says Dominguez, though "we might do it a little different next time," Mason notes. "Probably call 911, then leave." Riddell, 27, was later arrested and faces assault, hit-and-run, and child abuse charges. (In happier news, this teen has invented a way to prevent hot-car deaths.)