On Feb. 13, a baby boy was born into the world under less-than-ideal circumstances. If it weren’t for the vigilance of witnesses, he might have died right where he was born, on a bitterly cold sidewalk in Omaha, Nebraska.
Latrell Crane was one of the people who stepped in that morning near the intersection of 24th and P Street, though she says the whole thing was “traumatizing” and “wrong.”
“She came up over here, right?” Crane told KETV-TV. “She was cold. She, she was in pain. She was crying and I know her.”
The woman refused medical treatment, and the medics who arrived with the ambulance left, but thankfully enough people realized what was going on that they were able to gather blankets and wait for the baby.
The woman gave birth in 15-degree weather, left the newborn on the pile of blankets and then wrapped a blanket around herself and walked away, Crane said.
She called 911, as did another witness, Sheila Allee. Allee told the Omaha World-Herald that she went over and spotted the “beautiful baby boy.”
But Crane said as she approached the child, she realized something was seriously wrong.
“I come over and then the baby is on the sidewalk,” Crane said. “Like, just in the fetal position, not breathing. Still her umbilical cord still attached, know what I’m saying? And then … it’s just my instinct because I have two kids in my own, right? I grabbed the umbilical cord and wrapped around my hand.
“And I shook his chest. ‘Come on, baby. Come on, come on, come on.’ And he said, ‘Wah, oh, wah.’
“I have two kids. My own two boys. That she just left him on the sidewalk … it’s not cool. It’s not cool at all, man. I was the one that saved him.”
Witnesses cared for the infant until authorities arrived.
When police arrived, they saw the infant immediately, but the mother — later identified as 27-year-old Trinity Shakespeare — was not around. They later found her at the back of a house about a block away.
Medics took both the infant and mother to the hospital.
Upon Shakespeare’s release from the hospital, she was arrested on a charge of felony child abuse and taken to jail.
While Nebraska has “safe haven” laws and Shakespeare could have surrendered her newborn to one of the approved organizations without any repercussions, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said authorities were treating the matter as a criminal one.
“It’s not a safe haven case by any stretch,” Kleine said. “Thankfully these witnesses were around and took care of the baby before medics arrived.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.