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Jersey City, NJ

Teen Hands Newborn to Random Diner in NJ Restaurant & Runs

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Bryce Gruber
Bryce Gruber

The infant's umbilical cord was still attached.

A local New Jersey woman who ordered some Mexican food at El Patron in Jersey City got more than the burrito she was looking for —  a crying newborn baby.
ABC New York

When Alease Scott and Walter Cocca, her boyfriend, sat for lunch at the eatery this past Wednesday afternoon they never expected a 14-year-old teenager to walk in and hand her baby over to them, but that's exactly what happened. The story was originally reported by ABC7, and the heart-wrenching interaction was all captured on the restaurant's surveillance cameras.

Restaurant owner Frankie Aguilar reported the young woman had come into the eatery asking for help, claiming she had just found the child. "All she asked for was help," Aguilar said. "And that she had found an abandoned baby," adding that the newborn girl still had part of her umbilical cord intact and attached.

Alease Scott instantly sprung into action to help.

"I said do you mind if I check the baby's vitals, she readily handed the baby over to me so my focus went right onto the baby," Scott said. And ss the footage shows, after handing over the little baby, the teen girl fled the scene. Restaurant staff immediately called police and health officials who arrived to find the little girl in Alease's safe hands.

"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 slightly opened up her eyes and then she closed her eyes," she said. "But the sweetest thing was when she got hungry and she was trying to suckle on the oxygen mask, so we knew she was okay after that."

The newborn was taken by ambulance to Jersey City Medical Center, and was determined to be in good health. Police were able to track the teenager down who went on to admit she was, in fact, the baby's mother. She's not facing charges, and received hospital treatment.
Surveillance footage

All 50 American states have safe haven laws that allow parents to surrender babies at police stations, fire stations, or hospitals anonymously without facing criminal or neglect charges (and some states even allow houses of worship to serve as these safe havens).

New Jersey's safe haven law states, "There are women and couples who are scared, confused, and desperate... and for lots of other reasons people might never understand... now just isn't the right time to raise a baby. New Jersey has safe havens for unwanted infants. Leave the baby with staff at any hospital emergency room, police station, fire station, ambulance, or rescue squad staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

The baby, who is thankfully doing well, will enter the New Jersey state adoption system soon, but already has Alease Scott and Walter Cocca as by-choice god parents. The couple say they'd love to stay in contact with the special baby who graced them this week.

"I'm just so happy I was there to help because she just was desperate and didn't know what to do, she was so young," Scott shared.

What would you do if a newborn was dropped in your lap as you were eating at a restaurant? We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.

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