INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Picture this: You gather up the kids to take them to school, head to your car, and find a strange man asleep in your car. One Independence mom told FOX 4 that's what happened to her on Friday morning.
“Casey got to the car and jumps in, I get about halfway to the car, and notice that there is a Kubota RTV caddy-cornered at the end of my car in the parking area, and I stopped and was kind of wondering where it came from. I went to the car and opened the door, and I found a man sleeping in my front driver`s seat,” said Casandra O'Neal.
Around 6:15 Friday morning, O'Neal was heading out the door with her 5-year-old daughter, Casey, and her 2-year-old son, Alex, for school and daycare when she found a man passed out in her Chevrolet Impala.
“I went into panic mode. I didn`t want to wake him up, because I have two little kids, and you don`t want to put yourself in a position for your kids to get hurt,” O'Neal described. “So I just told my daughter as quietly as I could to unbuckle, and I told her to run to the door to the house and I got my kids inside.”
O'Neal locked her doors and called 911.
“My daughter was just kind of wondering why there was a man sleeping in the car,” O'Neal said. “I`m lucky that this guy was passed out, and stayed asleep.”
She waited inside until she heard sirens, then showed police where her car was parked around the back of her building with the man passed out inside.
“I`m sure he was intoxicated on something,” O'Neal said.
Police cited the man for "disorderly conduct" and he was taken to the hospital. They had the RTV towed away.
“I figured it had to have been stolen, people just don`t park those behind cars and leave them,” said O'Neal.
As it turns out, William Chrisman High School had an RTV stolen this week. Police suspect it's the same one but they're still investigating.
“I`m thinking he was riding it, got cold, and was looking for a warm place to sleep,” O'Neal said.
She says this might be a good warning for busy parents; take the time to look into your vehicle before you and your children climb in.