Child reportedly left locked in hot summer camp van for hours

Camp owner says family is exaggerating incident

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- - BOCA RATON, Fla. -  A little boy was allegedly left inside a van at a Boca Raton summer camp in 90-degree heat  - unaccounted for a couple of hours, witnesses say.

The incident happened at Velocity Martial Arts School during a summer camp.

According to the mother of the 4-year-old boy, Marie Granger, when she showed up to pick up her son from camp she was told he was missing. Granger said when camp counselors started searching for the child, they found him locked inside one of the of camp vans. He was exhausted from the heat.

In a written statement, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said that an investigation determined that one of the counselors had wrongly counted the boy when the group returned from a field trip.

Granger said mistake or not, it is simply unacceptable to not know where a child is and to leave him inside a hot van for hours.

"He told me that he was banging on the door trying to get people to hear him and that nobody heard him. He even asked, 'Mom did you hear me calling out for you?' And I mean it's heartbreaking," said Granger, the mother of the boy.

The owner of Velocity Martial Arts School did not want to speak to NewsChannel 5 on camera, citing advice from his lawyer. A statement was issued instead:

"We are extremely pleased that he is ok. We are also pleased that the Sheriff's Office has apparently decided not to charge anyone in regard to this incident. Our counselors on staff understandably believed that the boy's three teenage sisters, who are volunteers at our camp, were looking out for their little brother. We have established safety procedures and well-trained personnel in place to prevent accidents like this one from repeating and there has never been an incident of this nature before. While we recognize how potentially serious this incident could have been, it is unfortunate that the boy's family now appears to be exaggerating this incident to manufacture a lawsuit. Regardless, we will continue to provide our martial arts students and campers with an unparalleled experience." Velocity Martial Arts School statement.

PBSO said it has finished its investigation but the parents of the boy are pressing charges.

Investigators said the case is now in the hands of the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office.

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