A newborn was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after his teenage father abandoned him in a Northern California strip-mall parking lot, police said.
The father, Daniel Mitchell, 18, drove into the lot in Suisun City on Monday, removed a car seat holding the 16-day-old boy, put it on the ground and left, police said after viewing surveillance video and interviewing witnesses.
Two employees from a barber shop noticed the child car seat sitting unattended, and on closer inspection they found a baby in it and called police. Police were able to get the vehicle’s license plate from surveillance video and identify Mitchell.
He was involved in a hit-and-run crash and hospitalized later Monday in nearby Fairfield, and police found him there and confirmed he was the father.
Police arrested Mitchell on suspicion of child endangerment, child abandonment, committing a felony while free on bail and misdemeanor possession of suspected cocaine.
The baby was airlifted to a children’s hospital and was in critical but stable condition. The Los Angeles Times reported that the infant suffered from a condition that required specialized care.
Police said they have found and interviewed the boy’s mother, but she is not considered a suspect.
The Associated Press contributed to this report