A 6-7 month old baby girl, strapped in a car seat, was left in the backseat of a livery cab this morning. Tel-A-Car driver Klever Sailema picked up a man and the baby around 9:45AM this morning at 106th Street and Northern Boulevard in Queens. When the cab got to 83rd and Northern, the man said he needed to make a call and left the car. Only he crossed "the street to a pay phone and fled."
After 10AM, the driver took the baby to firehouse Engine 289. Lieutenant Jimmy Lofaso said, "We ran in and changed her diaper and gave her some food. We then called police and EMS, and they took custody of the baby and brought her to the hospital....She actually seemed happy and content" He also added she seemed "well taken care of. They left a bag with clothes, diapers, formula, a bottle."
Doctors at St. John's say the baby, named Lourdes by the hospital staff, is in "excellent condition" and seems "well-cared for." Authorities hope the press conference, where Lourdes giggled for reporters, will grab the attention of a relative. The baby will be in the custody of ACS. The police are also looking for the man who left her and checking the fingerprints left in the car.
As a thank you, the NY Federation of Taxi Drivers will give driver Sailema $300. The AP reports he will also be honored by by the Taxi and Limousine Commission next month at the annual driver recognition ceremony; TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus said, "Considering today's bitter cold, we couldn't be more thrilled that this baby was brought to a safe haven."
Police ask people with information to call the 115th Precinct, 718-533-2039.