The 20-year-old mother who allegedly left her baby in a stroller on a crowded Manhattan subway platform and then headed back onto a train was arraigned last night. Frankea Dabbs was charged with child abandonment and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17. Upon seeing the TV cameras in the courtroom, she said, "Is that rolling? ... Tell Shawn Corey Carter I said ‘f-k him. Piece of sh-t.’"
Dabbs is from North Carolina and it's unclear where she and the baby girl, who is 11 months old, had been staying in New York City. Dabbs's family says the young woman has had a very difficult life. Her aunt told the Daily News, “Stuff is wrong with Frankea’s mind. She walks around with dark shades.... She even sleeps in dark shades."
Dabbs's father said that his daughter's boyfriend, the father of baby Milani Love Edmonds, was killed during a robbery in North Carolina earlier this year. From the NY Times:
That Ms. Dabbs was in New York came as news to even her closest relatives. “I heard that she was in Tillery, North Carolina, then Virginia,” said [her father Franklin] Dabbs, who works at a food-processing plant. “Then when I looked on the news she was in New York, getting arrested.”
Before that, she had been living with an aunt in Southern California for several months. There were promises to return to school, but soon tensions boiled over. “I really could not put up with her, her attitude,” said the aunt, ShaRon Edmonds-Dent, 43, a tax preparer. “I tried to help her.”
She said she did not believe her niece had undergone any treatments for mental health issues. “You would think she had mental health issues with her actions,” she said. “But to be honest, Frankea is a regular, normal person.”
At one point, Ms. Dabbs returned to prostituting herself, sleeping in a public restroom with her baby, or in a dingy hotel, Ms. Edmonds-Dent said. When the police confronted her there, Ms. Edmonds-Dent said, Ms. Dabbs jumped out the hotel window, the baby in tow. She was arrested in April, for misdemeanor child endangerment, court records show.
The baby was found after 12:30 p.m. on Monday; a Good Samaritan who held the subway door for Dabbs and the baby saw the baby in the stroller, all alone, a little later. She stayed with the child for 20 minutes, in case the mother returned, and then contacted the police.
Dabbs is being held without bail. A police spokesperson said, "She felt she couldn’t take care of the baby and thought she was leaving her in a safe public space."