Mom arraigned after baby abandoned on New York City subway platform

Lucy Yang reports on what the mother had to say in court
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
The young mother accused of abandoning her baby on a Manhattan subway platform remains in jail without bail after her first appearance in court Tuesday night.

Police say 20-year-old Frankea Dabbs arrived in New York City last week with her daughter, 10-month-old Miliani.



She told police she could no longer care for the baby, so she pushed the girl's stroller off the No. 1 train onto the platform at Columbus Circle, but stayed on the train.

A Good Samaritan, Catherine Goodman, saw Dabbs push the stroller off the train and stayed with the baby for about 20 minutes, waiting for the mother to return. She then contacted police.

"I saw the stroller and I looked up, and I saw the mom in the subway door, just looking at us," she said. "And the train pulled off, and I was just completely flummoxed."

Dabbs told detectives she thought she was leaving the Miliani in a "safe place."

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.

Dabbs had some choice words for rapper Jay-Z at her arraignment.

"Somebody tell Shawn Corey Carter I said f--- you," she told the judge.

It is unclear why she referenced the celebrity.

Dabbs is charged with abandonment of a child and endangering the welfare of a child. No plea was entered.



Dabbs reportedly has a long criminal history in North Carolina, where she has an outstanding drug warrant.

The baby is now in the custody of child protective services. Police say the infant had some eczema on her cheeks and elbows but was not malnourished.

Eyewitness News spoke spoke to her aunt to North Carolina Tuesday afternoon.

"She was an excellent mother to her baby. That's why I cant understand. That's what got me, because she had been a good mom. I'm really shocked," she said.



About a year and a half ago, according to family, Dabbs cowered under her bed as her boyfriend was murdered in their home. She was two months pregnant with Miliani at the time, and relatives say she was never the same.

Dabbs' family made it clear they want the baby back. They want the grandfather to take care of little Miliani, described as the sweetest baby, a jewel.

Records show that Dabbs has a pending assault case and numerous prostitution-related arrests, all misdemeanors, in Raleigh, Charlotte and other locations in North Carolina. She had skipped a court date for one of the cases on July 1, according to the Wake County District Attorney's office.
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