Deadbeat Dark Knight Dad

23-year-old David Farnham left his 2-year-old son in the car while he enjoyed a movie.
23-year-old David Farnham left his 2-year-old son in the car while he enjoyed a movie.

A Salt Lake City, Utah audience was engrossed in the new action-packed Batman movie when it was interrupted early Sunday morning.

Police stopped the film to arrest a father who was watching the movie while his child sat in a locked car in the theater parking lot.

While 23-year-old David Farnham was enjoying the 11:30 p.m. showing of "The Dark Knight" inside an air-conditioned theater, his 2-year-old son, Justin, was all alone in a hot car, surrounded by signs that warn patrons to park at their own risk.

South Salt Lake police say Justin had been in the car for more than two hours when other movie goers noticed the child and called for help.

"The child was in the car, sweating profusely and crying," said South Salt Lake police officer Gary Keller. "With the assistance of our fire department, we entered the car and got the child out of the car."

The toddler was dehydrated and thirsty from being locked inside the 87-degree car with the windows rolled up, but he was in relatively good condition.

Police say it could have ended a lot worse.

"Especially a 2-year-old; they can dehydrate very, very quickly. You just never want to leave your child in the car ever, ever," Keller said.

Farnham, who has no prior criminal history, missed the last 10 minutes of the movie, and there was a slight interruption for everyone else when officers turned up the lights and arrested him inside the theater.

With the movie off and the lights on, the officers told the packed crowd they were looking for Farnham.

Then they told the crowd why.

"In regards to the baby left in the car," movie goer Katty Zlochevsky said. "Then everyone kind of gasped.  We all looked to see where he was, and he stood up and went down the stairs. And then people kind of threw stuff and started booing, and no one knew what to do."

Farnham was taken away, and the last 10 minutes of the movie continued.

He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of child abuse and child neglect.

Justin is now with his mother, who shares custody.

She said in a phone interview that he's doing well and that she's grateful it didn't end differently.