Stockton, California, police officials honored two good Samaritans who prevented a tragedy by jumping into an apartment complex dumpster to rescue a precious baby boy who was abandoned by his 15-year-old mother.
On-site property manager John Pedepone and resident Troy Cooper heard the cry of the newborn in the dumpster and saw something wrapped in a plastic bag that looked like it was moving, reports KCRA.
“I saw the plastic bag was moving. So, at first, I thought it was probably a dog. You know, because it was wrapped inside a plastic bag.”
“But the resident was telling me, ‘No, I think it’s a baby.’ So I listened, and, yeah, I could hear it, he was trying to breathe, but he’s not really crying. It’s like he’s trying to breathe. So my instinct (was) I need to get in there. So, I jumped in there and grabbed him … First thing I noticed is, it was a pretty strong baby because he was moving a lot.”
The two men immediately notified authorities about the child, and the newborn was rushed to the hospital for treatment after being left inside a California dumpster in 1oo-plus-degree heat.
Meet the two good samaritans who we are calling heroes, John Pedebone and Troy Cooper, who jumped into action today and…
During the investigation, police found the child’s mother, who lives in the apartment complex — she had just given birth.
The teen has been hospitalized since late Tuesday after giving birth but will be cited for felony child abuse/endangerment for putting her baby boy’s life at risk.
As of now, the child is healthy and has been put in protective custody with child protective services.
However, police said the incident should serve as a grim reminder that the public needs to know about the state’s safe surrender laws. The Stockon Police Department wrote on Facebook:
Newborns can be safely surrendered to any firehouse or hospital emergency rooms in the City of Stockton within 72 hours of birth without fear of being prosecuted as long as the baby shows no signs of abuse or neglect.
Authorities said the motive is unknown, and it’s unclear whether the girl’s family and friends knew she was was pregnant. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.