Posted 02-11-2005 at 14:41:47
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Here's the story:
MIAMI (Reuters) - A woman who told police she saw a newborn boy tossed out of a car onto a street in North Lauderdale, Florida, is the child's mother and made up the bizarre story, police said on Friday.
The woman, Patricia Pokriots, 38, has been committed for psychiatric evaluation and has not been charged with a crime, police said.
The baby, nicknamed Johny, is in stable and improving condition.
Pokriots took the newborn, with umbilical cord still attached, to a police station on Thursday and told investigators she had seen the child thrown from a car onto a grassy area in North Lauderdale, just northwest of Fort Lauderdale.
"The situation has become both happy and sad but it's not as horrible as we first thought," Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne said at a news conference on Friday. "The baby was never thrown out of a moving car.
"This is a case of a disturbed woman who gave birth but did not want to keep her child and made up an incredible story."
Jenne said Pokriots admitted to investigators on Friday morning that she had given birth to the child on Thursday in the bathroom of her mother's home.
When Pokriots initially spoke to police, she said she had seen a man and woman in a white, older model car arguing. The car's passenger door opened and the baby, wrapped in a plastic bag, was tossed out, she said.
On Friday morning, she told investigators she had put the child into her pickup truck and was driving to a fire station to give it up when she encountered the arguing couple in the white car and decided to create a story around that incident.
Under a Florida statute known as the Safe Haven Law, parents can hand over newborns up to three days old to the staff of a hospital, firehouse or ambulance station without being prosecuted.
Jenne said the woman -- who had been called a Good Samaritan in initial news reports -- had not been charged with a crime. "Frankly the only charge I could think of ... would be making a false police report," he said of potential charges.
"As horrific and wrong as (her) story is, if she had just taken baby Johny to the fire station (and) left him there, we couldn't have asked any questions," he said.
Pokriots declined to identify the father, police said.
The woman has indicated she does not want the boy and the sheriff's department has had numerous calls from people offering to adopt him, Jenne said.
The woman also has another child, a 10-year-old, who has been taken from her and put into state custody.