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Baby Abandoned in Stroller in Harlem Park

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A mother has been charged after police say her baby was found abandoned in a stroller in a small park across the street from a firehouse in Harlem, officials said. Brynn Gingras reports. (Published Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014)

    A mother has been charged after police say her baby was found abandoned in a stroller in a small park across the street from a firehouse in Harlem, officials said.

    A man in the area found the child near the park's restrooms off West 143rd Street around 9 p.m., according to the FDNY. It's not clear how long the 6-month-old baby had been there.

    Police say the child's parents went to the precinct late Monday morning and were questioned. The mother, Kenyetta Rowell of Staten Island, was later charged with reckless endangerment, failure to exercise control over a minor and false reporting. 

    It wasn't immediately clear if Rowell had an attorney. She refused to speak to reporters after leaving the Harlem precinct station Monday. 

    The man who found the child, Michael Allen, said he saw the stroller from a window and quickly went to the park. He said the baby was dressed in warm clothes, but no one was around. 

    "What is a baby doing out here this time of the night in the cold?" Allen said.

    Allen said he looked around for a caretaker after finding the child. When he couldn't find anyone, he flagged down firefighters, who took the baby to the hospital. The baby is not thought to have any injuries.

    "I don't know what the intentions were," he said. "All I know is that when I looked out the window that child was there, and I just couldn't imagine who would leave their child out there that way."

    Under state law, parents can leave a baby less than a month old at a fire station without fear of prosecution. The child in this case was 6 months old and was not left safely with authorities. 

    The baby was placed in the custody of the Administration for Children's Services.

    -- Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.