West Covina police on Monday arrested a woman accused of giving birth in a Subway restaurant bathroom and leaving the newborn in a toilet, authorities said.
Police received a call at 8:34 a.m. after customers at the sandwich shop at 2540 S. Azusa Ave. reported seeing a woman go into a bathroom and “emerged completely saturated in blood,” said West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton.
After the woman, identified by police as 38-year-old Mary Trinidad, left the restaurant, customers saw a trail of blood and rushed into the restroom, where they found the baby boy in the water in the toilet and evidence of the afterbirth, Patton said.
Paramedics rushed the baby to Queen of the Valley Hospital, where he was in critical condition Monday afternoon, Patton said. When he was found, the baby’s “core temperature was extremely cold because of the temperature of the water,” Patton said.
Police found Trinidad behind a Pep Boys Auto Repair & Service shop nearby about 15 minutes after the child was found, Patton said.
Trinidad was taken to a hospital to assess her medical needs following the birth, Patton said. She has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, child abandonment and child endangerment, Patton said.
Trinidad is a transient from the West Covina area, he said.
Customers at the Subway were “shocked by what they observed,” Patton said. He said they saved the child’s life by “being inquisitive” and reporting the situation to police and that they provided essential descriptions of Trinidad that led to police finding her.
“In my 25 years on the job, I’ve never heard of this occurring,” Patton said. “It just makes no sense whatsoever.”
Under California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law, parents or people with lawful custody can turn over an infant at fire stations and hospitals within the first 72 hours of birth with no questions asked.
Patton said police have notified the county’s Department of Children and Family Services about the birth and that the baby boy will be placed into protective custody.