The boy, who was not identified by police, is in good condition and was released to a family friend after being examined by paramedics.
The driver of the van, Dimary Almonte, 34, of Roxbury, forgot that the boy was inside and failed to drop him off at a family care house, according to her boyfriend, Juan Martinez.
Martinez said Almonte returned home to the Lenox Street housing development at about 10 a.m. and parked the van, operated by Trans Pro, on Kendall Street near Trotter Court.
“The boy was on the last seat sleeping and she didn’t see him,’’ Martinez said. “He’s only been getting rides with her for four days, taking him to day care. She is really sad about what happened, but it was a mistake.’’
The passerby called police at 11:40 a.m., and officers had to use a special tool to unlock the door of the van. Within minutes, the boy was inside an ambulance parked on Kendall Street. Almonte showed up soon after the boy was rescued from the van, said Boston Police Sergeant Larry Hobson, a patrol supervisor for Area D-4.
“She hasn’t been charged with anything,’’ Hobson said. “The boy looked to be in good condition, he was checked out [by paramedics] and they brought him something to eat.’’
While temperatures in locked cars can climb to more than 30 degrees higher than the outside temperature, the van was parked under a shade tree. Outside temperatures were in the mid-70s at the time.
Martinez put his arm around Almonte as they walked down Kendall Street. Her head was slumped on his shoulder and she cried. The couple turned around and walked back to the van and Almonte got in and drove away.
“We immediately placed her on administrative leave without pay pending an internal investigation,’’ said Trans Pro Executive Director Ardith Wieworka.