A newborn boy whose mother abandoned him in the Bayview early Wednesday survived the ordeal thanks to the actions of two veteran police officers.
After arriving at the scene and finding the baby unresponsive, police said, the officers knew they had precious minutes to save his life and could not wait for an ambulance.
One of the officers had previously worked as a paramedic, so he began performing CPR on the child, police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said. They reportedly drove the boy to San Francisco General Hospital in their patrol car, with the ex-paramedic continuing to administer CPR.
Due to the dramatic rescue, Manfredi said, the baby is expected to survive.
“These officers are heroes,” Manfredi said. “To be able to save a child’s life is emotional for any officer. To find out there was a positive ending was the icing on the cake.”
The incident unfolded about 2 a.m. Wednesday when, police said, the baby’s mother pounded on the gate of Providence Church Shelter at Third Street and McKinnon Avenue seeking help and saying she had just delivered a baby.
The unidentified 39-year-old was bleeding but did not have the baby with her, police said.
A shelter worker who spoke with the woman went back inside to consult a co-worker, and when he returned the woman was holding the newborn. Police reportedly have no idea where the baby was at the time or where he was actually born.
Shelter workers told the woman they were calling 911, but the mother said she did not want help and walked away down Third Street with the baby, police said.
A local man who knows the woman from the neighborhood had reportedly been driving on Third Street when he spotted her with the baby. The man told police that she had handed him the boy and then split.
The two veteran officers who were responding to the 911 call were flagged down by the man, police said. They immediately requested an ambulance, but also realized the baby was unresponsive and would likely not survive if they waited for paramedics.
Police are still investigating the relationship between the mother and the man who was carrying the baby, Manfredi said. Investigators plan to question the man further, and they said they hope witnesses will come forward.
Anyone with information about the bizarre case is asked to call Sgt. John Keane of the Police Department’s special victims unit at (415) 553-9363.
Meanwhile, the baby’s mother is likely facing criminal charges. She was found in the area by police shortly after the incident and also was brought to the hospital for treatment, police said. She is expected to survive.