A newborn baby is in critical condition today because his mother tried to out-Florida everyone else in her state. This depressing tale has everything: an all-day crack binge, a motel, giving birth in a bathroom, attempted murder charges, and an 11-month-old crawling around to witness it all.
I’ve emphasized the most Florida aspects of the story:
Chrystal Hassell, 37, told investigators she, her boyfriend and her 11-month-old child checked into a motel room at the Vacation Host Inn on Friday night in Ocala. She said that even though she was seven months pregnant, she started going into labor after smoking crack cocaine for an entire day.
Vincent Terry, Hassell’s boyfriend, left with the 11-month-old boy to run an errand, so Hassell delivered the baby alone in the bathtub. According to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report, Hassell even cut the umbilical cord with her teeth.
Why didn’t she call for help? Oh, she did. And… that just made things worse.
Hassell’s first call wasn’t to 911, though. It was to her boyfriend, who she told to hurry up and get back to the motel. But, as Terry sped to return, he was pulled over by Marion County deputies. He was wanted for attempted murder in Colorado.
The newborn was airlifted to a Gainesville hospital, where he is listed in critical condition. The 11-month-old boy has been placed in foster care. Hassell is on suicide watch in jail, and faces child neglect charges. Also, she has a third child:
Hassell, 37, also has a 16-year-old daughter who was born addicted to drugs as a result of Hassell’s drug use during her pregnancy.
Welcome to Florida, kids. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.