SUISUN CITY, Calif. – 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. Police said officers 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.
Police said they have found and interviewed the boy's mother, but she is not considered a suspect.
"She is not a suspect at this time. She is cooperative with the investigation. She's provided a statement regarding her whereabouts (on Monday)," Suisun City Police Cmdr. Andrew White told Sacramento television station KCRA. "To our knowledge, at this time, she did not know that this had occurred, that it was being planned to occur or anything like that."
Mitchell was out on bail in connection with a felony burglary arrest on June 27, White said.
"There was a firearm that was discovered in the vehicle. There were multiple charges that he was arrested on," White added.