A 21-year-old mother was arrested for allegedly abandoning her newborn baby girl in a Yonkers apartment building hallway — however, she has already been released due to New York’s bail reform laws, police said.
Jaqueline Perez was charged Thursday with one count of abandonment of a child, the New York Post reported. The Yonkers Police Department said in a statement that the felony charge against Perez was ineligible for bail “due to laws restricting bail.”
“Perez’s baby was discovered by neighbors on the first floor of an apartment building on Chestnut Street Tuesday evening,” according to the report. “The hours-old infant had been wrapped in a blanket and was left alone on the cold floor near the entryway. Her umbilical cord was still attached, with a black string wrapped around it…”
Police said they were able to track down Perez after interviewing witnesses and reviewing hours of surveillance footage. Detectives determined that Perez gave birth to her daughter on her own around 3:30 p.m. before wrapping her in a t-shirt and a blanket and leaving her in the hallway around 7:30 p.m.
Roughly an hour later, a neighbor discovered the baby and called the police, according to the report.
First responders took the baby girl to the hospital. Police said she was in stable condition as of Thursday and has remained with Child Protective Services.
Perez was also assessed at a hospital “due to her unconventional childbirth,” police said. She was later released.
“The circumstances that occurred are heartbreaking and unfortunate, but we are thankful the baby is stable and safe,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “I commend the compassionate and swift actions of our Yonkers PD in finding the mother, exhibiting concern for her welfare after going through a traumatic and desperate ordeal.”
Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza pointed out that New York’s Safe Haven law allows parents to legally surrender babies under 30 days old to any of Yonkers’ police precincts, fire stations, or hospitals without facing prosecution.