(NEW YORK) — The woman accused of abandoning her baby on crowded New York City subway platform has been erratic since seeing her boyfriend shot to death while she hid nearby, the woman’s father told ABC News Tuesday.
Frankea Dabbs, 20, left her 10-month-old daughter at a busy Manhattan subway station Monday and got back on the train without her.
Dabbs was arrested and charged Tuesday with abandoning a child and committing actions injurious to a child less than the age of 17. She told police she was homeless after arriving in the city on June 2 and couldn’t handle being a mother.
“She felt she couldn’t take care of the baby and thought she was leaving her in a safe public space,” said Stephen Davis, spokesman for the New York Police Department.
Her father told ABC News Tuesday that he had no idea that his daughter and granddaughter were in New York, but said she has been unnerved since the shooting.
“She saw her boyfriend get killed,” Franklin Dabbs of Wilmington, North Carolina, told ABC News. “Three guys came to the house. She was hiding under the bed. She was two months pregnant then. I think that burden was still with her.”
The father knew the boyfriend only as Demetrius, he said.
Dabbs said that ever since the shooting his daughter wore sunglasses everywhere and wanted to be in dark rooms all the time, a possible indication of her emotional state.
Dabbs said his daughter was once a great mom.
“I’m very surprised — she was always a good mother to her baby,” he said.
“I’ve seen her clean the baby, feed the baby, everything. I’m speechless, really,” he said.
Her father says he learned about the arrest on the news and is planning a trip to New York.
“I know she’s a good mother,” he said. “I don’t understand what happened. I love both of them. All I want is my kids back in North Carolina with me, especially my grandchild.”
Dabbs’ last known address was in Raleigh, North Carolina, but she had identification indicating that she was from California. She told police that the baby’s father had recently died in California, contradicting her father’s account that he died in North Carolina.
She has an active warrant out of North Carolina for marijuana possession, according to police records.
“I’m just glad they found the mom and the baby’s fine,” said Catherine Boursier, the woman who found the stranded child on the subway platform alone in a red-and-white polka-dot stroller on Monday.
Boursier stayed with the child until police arrived around noon.
Frankea Dabbs admitted to police that she abandoned her baby, authorities said.
She was arrested early Tuesday morning on Manhattan’s Upper West Side after the NYPD released a photo of the infant, shown sucking on a bottle and wearing a red-and-white blouse.
Dabbs was taken into custody about 12:30 a.m. not far from where she is accused of leaving the infant.
The baby was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center for a check-up and is in stable condition. The baby is now in custody of the city’s Administration for Children’s Services.
Police also released a video showing a woman wearing sunglasses and a white tank top dodging a fare by pushing the infant through the emergency exit to enter a subway station.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Carma Hassan and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN Newswire
Grant Olsen, KSL.com