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A 23-year-old Woodside woman has been charged with throwing her just-born baby into the trash can of an Elmhurst Hospital Center bathroom, the Queens district attorney’s office said, and the infant girl is currently on life support.
Dawa Lama, who lives on 65th Street near 37th Road, told the detective who questioned her at the time that while she knew doctors could have helped the baby, she “didn’t want her mother to find out,” the criminal complaint filed with the DA’s office said.
Lama went to the hospital at 11:35 a.m. May 10 to register for prenatal care, the DA said. When she arrived at the hospital, Lama registered at the front desk but went to the bathroom, saying she felt strong pains in her back and her abdomen, the DA said. While in the bathroom, Lama supposedly went into labor and delivered a baby girl, the DA said.
She allegedly cut the cord, put the baby in a garbage bin and went to the bathroom, stopping back at the hospital’s front desk and taking back her identification card, the DA said.
“The tiny victim at the heart of this case is an innocent and helpless infant who was allegedly betrayed by the one person who was supposed to care for and nurture her,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “This is a serious — and unnecessary — crime as the defendant could have left her unwanted child in the care of hospital officials under the Safe Haven law instead of tossing her out like a piece of garbage.”
The baby is currently on life support, but was born alive and at full term with no obvious physical deformities, the DA said.
Elmhurst’s director of security later found the baby, the criminal complaint said. She was suffering from low oxygen, low blood pressure and brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, the DA said.
Lama appeared before Queens Criminal Court Judge Pam Jackman-Brown Saturday, the DA said. She was arraigned on two counts of assault, reckless endangerment, abandonment of a child and endangering the welfare of a child, the DA said.
The Woodside woman faces up to 15 years in prison if she is convicted of the charges, the DA said. She was ordered held on $20,000 bond or $10,000 cash bail and to surrender her passport, the DA said. Her next court date is June 6, the DA said.
The criminal complaint said before the incident Lama came to the hospital the day before and had a sonogram. She was 37 weeks pregnant and due to give birth May 27, the complaint said.
The 110th Precinct has seen 95 felony assaults this year and 224 misdemeanor assaults this year as of May 8, according to crime statistics compiled by the NYPD. At the same time in 2010, the same number of felony assaults had occurred: 95. Misdemeanor assaults have gone up since 2010, with 209 having occurred at the same time last year.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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