In a startling incident in downtown Hilo, Hawaii, a homeless woman gave birth on a sidewalk and then allegedly proceeded to drag her newborn daughter along the street by the umbilical cord. This disturbing event took place around 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday at Mamo and Keawe streets, as reported by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
The woman, identified as 41-year-old Ashley Aileen Maile Lum, shocked onlookers with her actions immediately after the birth. Witnesses described a harrowing scene where Lum began dragging the infant along the sidewalk until the umbilical cord detached, and then she abruptly fled the area.
Police and firefighters swiftly responded to the scene after receiving reports of the incident. Upon arrival, first responders found the baby, still connected to the umbilical cord, lying on the sidewalk. This occurred in front of Pineapples Restaurant, a location frequented by many people, which allowed for numerous eyewitness accounts of the incident. Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins of the police department shared details of the location and the public’s reaction to the NY Post.
Medical personnel at the scene quickly intervened, cutting the umbilical cord and providing immediate assistance to the newborn. The baby, who was breathing but remained motionless, was urgently transported to Hilo Medical Center for further care.
Captain Amon-Wilkins relayed the good news that the baby’s life was not in danger. The attending pediatric doctor at the hospital reported that the infant was in fine condition. The doctor estimated that Lum’s pregnancy was about 38 weeks along, indicating that the baby was indeed viable at birth.
After the separation from her child, Lum began to leave the scene but was later apprehended by authorities. She was detained on suspicion of child abandonment but was also taken to the hospital for treatment and observation. Despite her detainment, Lum was subsequently released without charges pending further investigation, largely due to her hospital admission, as stated by the Daily Mail.
Lum, who has a history of minor criminal offenses but no prior felony convictions, is known in the downtown Hilo area. She has spent years living on the streets there, often observed shouting at vehicles and pedestrians.
The police department, led by Captain Amon-Wilkins, plans to submit the findings of their investigation to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to determine potential criminal charges. Amon-Wilkins, with almost 25 years of experience, remarked on the uniqueness of this case, noting that he had never encountered anything similar in his career.
The baby, thankfully in good condition, has been placed under the care of Child Welfare Services. In light of this shocking event, police are urging witnesses to come forward and provide any additional information by contacting the department’s non-emergency number.