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14-Year-Old Girl Gives Birth, Walks into Restaurant and Leaves Baby With Stranger

A 14-year-old girl who had just given birth walked into a New Jersey restaurant and gave her newborn baby to a customer before leaving.

The incident took place at around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the El Patron Restaurant in Glen Gardner, New Jersey, with the full encounter captured on its surveillance cameras.

Restaurant owner Frankie Aguilar told Penn Live that the teenager walked into El Patron looking “a little bit desperate,” while holding a newborn baby in her arms.

Aguilar said that the 14-year-old then started asking customers and staff for help, prompting employees to call the local police department who they thought could assist the girl.

Before police arrived at the restaurant the teenager handed the baby, which still had its umbilical cord attached, to customer Alease Scott and quickly left El Patron.

Scott, who was eating in the restaurant with her boyfriend Walter Cocca when the incident took place, told ABC 7 that she asked the 14-year-old if she could check the newborn’s vitals.

She said that the girl “readily handed the baby over to me so my focus went right onto the baby,” as the teenager then left the restaurant.

Scott, who is trained in CPR, said that she could tell that the baby was having trouble breathing and informed the police, who responded with oxygen and other medical gear.

“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 but the sweetest thing was when she got hungry and she was trying to suckle on the oxygen mask so we knew she was OK after that,” Scott said.

“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.”

The 14-year-old was found by police later in the day and was taken to the Jersey City Medical Center after being detained for a short period of time. She will not face charges and the baby will be put up for adoption, per ABC 7.

New Jersey has Safe Haven laws in place, which allow the parent of a baby to drop off an infant who is less than 30 days old to staff at a hospital, police station, fire station or first aid employee if they are unable to parent it.

Prior to the incident on Wednesday, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families tweeted about the law, confirming that the process can be anonymous.

“If you’re stressed, if you feel like you have nowhere else to turn, or if you think you’ve run out of options, don’t panic,” the department tweeted, linking to the drop off locations in the state.

Newsweek has contacted the Lebanon Township Police Department, El Patron Restuarant and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families for comment.


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