A 14-year-old girl shockingly walked into a Mexican restaurant in New Jersey, handed a customer a newborn baby with part of her umbilical cord still attached, and then fled the scene.
Surveillance footage shows the young teenager, who had allegedly just given birth, entering the El Patron restaurant on Wednesday at approximately 4 p.m. with the baby. She claimed that she had found the infant and then asked the staff for help, according to NJ.com.
Frankie Aguilar, who owns the restaurant, stated: “This lady comes in looking very desperate, holding a brand newborn child, you can even tell.” He went on to say, “She comes in, she looks at me in the eye, I look at her and she has these eyes of terror and despair.” Aguilar’s father was the one who called 911.
Alease Scott saw what was going on as she was eating lunch with her boyfriend and stepped up to help the girl. “The baby wasn’t really moving that much. (The mother) went to the counter, she said she needed help. I got up from the table, I immediately walked over to her and I said you mind if I check the baby’s vitals?” recounted Scott.
“So she readily handed the baby over to me. I noticed the baby still had matter on it from being born, in the hair and the ears. It wasn’t cleaned off very properly,” Scott, a former therapist and preschool teacher, said.
She said she could tell the baby was having trouble breathing. Immediately after the teenager handed the child over to Scott, she fled the restaurant.
(Video Credit: ABC 7 Eyewitness News)
“I looked down and saw that there was dried blood on her leg, and I immediately said ‘Oh my God, this is the baby’s mom,’” Scott recalled. “But I was more focused on making sure the baby was breathing, so as soon as I looked down at the baby she was gone.”
“She had also told me that the baby was abandoned, but with all of the things that we saw it seemed that she was the mother. So that’s the thing that was the most heartbreaking,” remarked Aguilar.
The police arrived and provided medical attention for the baby girl. Scott was also trained in CPR and helped the infant: “Once I applied the oxygen mask to the baby, all of a sudden we heard the most beautiful cry, and the baby started moving,” she marveled.
“She slightly opened up her eyes and then she closed her eyes, but the sweetest thing was when she got hungry, and she was trying to suckle on the oxygen mask,” Scott told ABC 7. “So we knew she was OK.”
The baby was transported to Jersey City Medical Center and the police located the teenaged mother not far from the restaurant. She reportedly denied being the baby’s mother. The girl is not being charged with anything yet. She was also taken to the hospital.
Both the mother and the baby are in good shape according to Jersey City officials. The baby will be put up for adoption. Scott and her boyfriend, Walter Cocca, said they would love to be the child’s godparents: “I would love to see her again. I would totally be her godmother. Totally be her godmother, putting that out there,” Scott said laughing.
“I’m just so happy I was there to help because she was desperate and didn’t know what to do,” Scott noted. “She was just so young.”
New Jersey has a Safe Haven Infant Protection law that permits someone to drop off an unwanted baby that is less than 30 days old with staff at any hospital emergency room, fire station, police station, ambulance, first aid, or rescue squad.
That was not the case here so it remains unknown if any charges will be forthcoming.
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