NEW YORK - A woman accused of abandoning her baby at a bustling mid-town Manhattan subway station told police that she is homeless and felt she could no longer take care of the 10-month-old child.
Frankea Dabbs, 20, was charged Tuesday with child abandonment and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17, reports CBS New York.
Police reportedly said Dabbs was on a northbound No. 1 subway train just before noon Monday when she was seen pushing the baby's stroller onto the platform at Columbus Circle. She the continued to ride with the train, leaving the baby alone, reports the station.
A passenger had seen the woman and child board the train at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue, police said. The passenger got off at Columbus Circle and noticed the unattended stroller on the platform and the mother inside the train. After the train pulled away, the passenger remained with the baby for about 20 minutes, waiting for someone to return.
No one did. The woman told a subway worker, who called police.
Tuesday, Dabbs told police during an interview that she is from North Carolina and had moved to New York July 2. She reportedly said the baby's father had died recently in California.
"[Dabbs] felt she couldn't take care of the baby and thought she was leaving her in a safe public space," NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said.
Dabbs was detained by police early Tuesday near 72nd Street and Broadway after a tipster who recognized her from a released surveillance image called police, reports the station.
The baby was examined at Roosevelt Hospital, and doctors found no apparent signs of trauma, police said. She was placed in the care of the city's Administration for Children's Services.
A city law that allows people to take an unwanted baby to a firehouse, police station or hospital with no questions asked would not have applied in this case because it only pertains to infants 5 days old or younger.
New York subway riders expressed shock to CBS New York.
"I hope that child has no memory of this horror story," commuter Irene Kestanuk told the station. "Thank God the child wasn't pushed into the tracks."
Dabbs' father Frank Dabbs said Frankea is a good mom, but recently turned to a dark place because the baby's father recently died.
"She saw her boyfriend get murdered," Dabbs said. " I think it maybe escalated from there."