A McDonald’s cashier has been accused of trying to drown her newborn baby in the bathroom stall. According to court documents, on Labor Day, 25-year-old Sarah Lockner was apparently suffering from stomach pains, when she left her shift and went into the bathroom stall. Co-workers eventually checked on her and found a pile of blood on the floor, and a baby’s face.
Lockner argued that it was just a bad period which had caused the blood and told witnesses that nobody should call the police.
“There was a newborn baby boy in the toilet water,” said San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe. “She had her hand on the baby boy’s back pushing it into the water in an effort to kill it.”
Baby will survive, may have brain damage
When found by authorities, the baby had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. After police performed CPR, the baby was rushed to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, and was put into a coma. Fortunately, prosecutors say the baby will survive, but are not sure about possible brain damage.
Lockner claims she did not know she was pregnant and is currently being held on $11 million bail, with attempted murder and inflicting great bodily harm to a child. She is due back in court next Monday. “It’s hard enough to have a baby in a stall at a McDonald’s but then want to end his life,” said Wagstaffe. “It’s something nobody can understand.”
Local customers have reacted to the horrific and shocking situation. “Just incomprehensible sadness you don’t know what someone is thinking,” said Bill Norton of Palo Alto. “You just want to reach out to the baby and to the mother.”
Each state has a Safe Haven law
Similar stories of mothers trying kill newborns have been in the news recently. For example, high school cheerleader Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, was charged with aggravated murder, after burying her child in the backyard.
Every state has some sort of Safe Haven law, where unwanted babies, up to the age of one, can be dropped off with no questions and no threat of prosecution. These locations include police stations, hospitals, medical centers and adoption centers.
Lockner had no prior criminal history in San Mateo County. Officials are now in the process of trying to find the biological father. The District Attorney is grateful the case didn’t turn into a homicide and crediting coworkers at McDonalds and first responders for saving the infant’s life.
— Peter Amirata