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Father sentenced after baby's death in car


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
A father whose 7-month-old son died after he was accidentally left in a closed car for several hours has been placed on probation for a year after pleading guilty to a child neglect charge.

Aryeh Katzman, 27, of Lakewood, was too choked up to speak at his sentencing on Friday.

"He'll continue to suffer with this for the rest of his life," said Steven Secare, Katzman's attorney.

Seven-month-old Chaim Katzman, the only child of the rabbinical school student and his wife, died in May after being in the car for about five hours on a clear 60-degree day.

Authorities said the infant had open blisters on his arms when he was found. He was rushed to Ocean Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Tests showed he died of hyperthermia.

Superior Court Judge James N. Citta said Friday that sending Katzman to jail would accomplish nothing, given the tragic circumstances of the case. Katzman could have faced up to 18 months in prison for child neglect.

"The state recognizes the tragedy of the situation, but also feels the plea bargain holds (Katzman) accountable for it," Senior Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor John Foti said.

Katzman had strapped the baby in the car and set out to pick up other children as part of a car pool he participated in. Prosecutors said he dropped off the other children at the baby-sitter's house but forgot to drop off his son before heading to classes at his yeshiva.

This really is so tragic
I remember being in town about 10 years ago with my mum, on a very sunny hot day.

We were at a warehouse type shop, and as we were going back to our car, there were policemen breaking into the car next to ours in order to get a baby out.
That is so sad! My little brother got locked in a car once, he was asleep and my mom went in to use the bathroom and when she came out she realised she'd left her keys inside the car. (And she had locked it so no one would steal my bro) Hew couldnt open the door cuz he was in his car seat and asleep, so the cashier lady offered to call her Uncle so he could open the door free of charge, but this other guy there offered to do it, but when he was done he was all "That will be 30 dollars." My mom was SO mad.
That's very sad, I know being a parent how tiring it can be.

I was at school once picking up my eldest when they were little and my son at the time was only 2. I was sitting there chatting to another mum and realised about 5 mins later I couldn't hear him.
It scared me because I wondered if I could have completely forgotten about him and have left the school without him.
I know people can be quick to judge in situations like the story here. But it is so easily done. If your child is asleep in the car and you have stopped somewhere, it's natural instinct not to want to wake them.

I know this is a bit different - if we are to believe the story, it seems the father went to classes forgetting he had the baby still in the car. I sympathise with him - like it says, he has to suffer this guilt for the rest of his days.