A newborn was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after his teenage father abandoned him in a Northern California strip-mall parking lot, police say. The father, Daniel Mitchell, 18, drove into the lot in Suisun City on Monday, removed a car seat holding the 16-day-old boy, put it on the ground, and left, police said after viewing surveillance video and interviewing witnesses. Two employees from a barbershop noticed the child's car seat sitting unattended, and on closer inspection they found a baby in it and called police, the AP reports. Police were able to get the vehicle's license plate from surveillance video and identify Mitchell.
Mitchell was involved in a hit-and-run crash and hospitalized later Monday in nearby Fairfield. Police say officers found him there and confirmed he was the father. Police arrested Mitchell on suspicion of child endangerment, child abandonment, committing a felony while free on bail, and possession of suspected cocaine. The baby was airlifted to a children's hospital. Police said they've found and interviewed the boy's mother, but she is not considered a suspect. "She is cooperative with the investigation," Suisun City Police Cmdr. Andrew White told reporters. "To our knowledge, at this time, she did not know that this had occurred, that it was being planned to occur, or anything like that." (Read more child endangerment stories.)