Teen Mom Hands Newborn to Stranger at Jersey City Restaurant
JERSEY CITY — Police found a 14-year-old girl who had brought a newborn into a Mexican restaurant on Wednesday and handed it to a customer before walking out.
The teen appears to have had recently given birth. A witness said the teen had blood on her leg.
Police said no charges have been filed at this point.
Jersey City police said they responded to the El Patron restaurant just after 4PM for a report of an abandoned baby, who still had her umbilical cord attached. The newborn was taken to a hospital and her mother was quickly located. Both were found to be in good health, police said.
Surveillance video shows the girl walking up to the counter. Owner Frankie Aguilar told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that the girl said she had found the child and needed help. Edited surveillance video shows the teen handing the baby to customer Alease Scott and then walking away.
In a video posted by her boyfriend to his Facebook page, Scott said she asked the girl if she could check the baby's vital signs and felt a strong heartbeat.
"I asked her what her name was and she gave some fake name. I noticed she had some blood on her leg and figured out that was her mama," Scott said.
For about a half hour they talked to the baby and recorded what was going on, Scott said.
"I'm still in a bit of a state of shock that even happened," Scott said.
Her boyfriend said they were talking about what happened because it was about God putting people in the right place at the right time.
"This is not about shaming that young lady," he said.
"She showed some compassion because once she realized the situation was way too much to handle she could have put the baby in a trash can but she gave the baby to me," Scott said.
"All I saw was a child who just didn't know what to do and made a very bad decision that actually worked out for the good of God and for the good of that baby," she said.
The couple also praised the Jersey City police and first responders for an "amazing job," adding that the detective who was investigating said the baby was given to the parents of the mother.
"That detective was awesome and I'm telling you the police were so compassionate towards her," Scott said.
New Jersey's Safe Haven Infant Protection Act allows a parent to give up an uninjured newborn up to 30 days old, no questions asked, at an emergency room or police station.