A premature baby was born last Friday evening in a hotel bathtub after his mother stated she went on a crack cocaine binge. He is now listed as being in critical condition and on a ventilator at a hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Meanwhile the mother remains in jail. Chrystal A. Hassel, age 37, stated that she cut her newborn’s umbilical cord with her own teeth after she gave birth at the guesthouse. She was either seven or eight months pregnant, but she did not know for sure how far along she was.
She rushed to call nine-one-one after the infant started turning blue. Hassell, who has three other children as well, was arrested on charges of child neglect on Saturday morning. It has been reported that she is on suicide watch at the Marion County Jail. After she was taken into custody, she allegedly told Florida police that she had struggled with drugs since she was a teenager. She also told them she had not realized she was pregnant until March and had wanted to avoid crack while she carried the child.
The Florida Children and Families Department has taken over custody of the newborn and one of his brothers, an 11-month-old infant. The brother has already been put into foster care. Because Hassell has been put on suicide watch, that means she is always under supervision. The female faces charges of child neglect and will be evaluated by medical specialists to see what type of assistance she needs.
Hassell also stated that she had always used drugs while she was pregnant with her other children. In fact she explained that her daughter that was age 16 was born addicted to drugs. She had wanted not to smoke any crack but the cravings were just too much for her to handle. One day before her child’s birth, she decided to go on a binge. It apparently caused her to go into labor and she gave birth in a hotel bathtub. She did not have anything to cut the umbilical cord with so she used her teeth. It was not long after that the newborn began turning blue so that was when she rang nine-one-one.
Vincent Terry, age 43, and the baby’s father, is also at the Marion County Jail due to an outstanding warrant issued from El Pasco County, Colorado. It is for attempted murder, domestic violence and violating probation due to possessing a Schedule II controlled substance.
Terry claimed that he had no knowledge of his girlfriend abusing drugs for over 24 hours before their baby was born. He stated that she said to him she was tired and just wanted to rest. He added that he knew she had a history of doing drugs, but not that she was on them now. She had just found out she was pregnant.
The baby will go into the foster system when he gets out of the hospital all because his mother allegedly went on a crack cocaine binge. He is now in critical condition and on a ventilator at a hospital in Gainesville.
One has to wonder why there are not more Steve Wilkos’ in the world when something like this is going on.
By Kimberly Ruble