21-year-old Ashley Couch allegedly threw her newborn baby into the snow in Minneapolis Saturday morning and then left her there in 12 degree temperatures. The baby was only 18 days old at the time and still had a newborn hospital tag on her toe.
Keith St. Pierre was getting off a bus Saturday morning when he saw a woman throw her baby into the snowbank and run away.
St. Pierre quickly crossed the street and picked up the newborn infant. The girl, whose skin was red, was cold to the touch and would not wake up, St. Pierre told police officers who responded to the scene. He rubbed her chest for about 10 seconds until she eventually responded. He then wrapped the baby in his jacket while calling 911.
St. Pierre was so excited when he dialed 911 that the police dispatcher hung up on him calling him hysterical. He again called 911 remaining calm enough to induce the dispatcher to send a squad car to his location.
At that time Ashley Couch, the baby’s mother, returned to claim her child. According to a police report, Couch was angry at her newborn’s father when she allegedly threw the baby.
‘I can’t believe you did that to my baby!’
Police stated that Couch allegedly chased her baby’s father down a street Saturday and, when she caught up to him, allegedly threw their newborn girl into a snowbank.
“I can’t believe you did that to my baby!” the child’s father repeatedly screamed at Couch as police arrived at the scene at about 8 a.m. Saturday.
Police stated that the child’s father was upset and crying. He reportedly told officers that Couch had “slammed” their baby into the snow bank, the police complaint said.
It is not clear from the police report why the father did not intervene to care for the baby after the incident.
Couch told police officers at the scene that the baby’s father took some money from her and fled their home. She told them that she grabbed the baby and a blanket, chasing him down the street.
She claimed that when she caught him, she pushed him and the baby fell out of her hands into the snow bank, according to the police complaint. However, Couch’s version of what happened differs markedly from what Keith St. Pierre said he saw and from what a second witness also saw.
The baby was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment. Doctors said she was lethargic with cool skin and a body temperature of 95.8 degrees. They placed the child in an incubator treating her for hypothermia, and she recovered.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office on Tuesday charged the mother, Ashley Renee Couch, with child endangerment and child neglect, which are both gross misdemeanors.
The Hennepin County Attorney also states the baby has no lasting problems and is now in protective foster care.