Anna May, a dispatcher for the Simi Valley Police Department, answered the 911 call. The teenage boy on the line sounded calm but nervous; he was in the car with his mother. She had hoped they would get to the hospital, but they weren't going to make it in time.
His mother was going to have a baby, he said. Contractions had begun, and she was already pushing.
They had just pulled off the 118 Freeway into the parking lot of a gas station at the corner of Stearns and Bernard streets in Simi Valley just after 1:00 p.m. Saturday.
May contacted paramedics, and senior police officer Kyle Crocker was first the first to arrive, police said. Crocker's shift had begun at 6 a.m. and had been uneventful: a few radio calls, vehicle burglaries, thefts. He had been joined by an Explorer Scout for a ride-along.
The mother was in the front passenger seat of the four-door sedan, police said. Standing nearby was the teenager, his two siblings and a grandmother. Crocker asked the Explorer Scout to move them away.
Speaking calmly to the mother, Crocker,30, hoped that the Ventura Fire Department and paramedics would get there soon, police said. Even as he played for time, Crocker got the woman ready to deliver her baby who arrived minutes later. It was a girl.
Holding the infant, he untangled the umbilical cord from around her shoulders and wrapped her in a blanket. Later at the hospital, he learned that the baby's name was Ariel.
"This is about service and that is what we do at the end of the day," said Robert Arabian, a Simi Valley Police Department watch commander.