The baby spent his first day in this world not nestled in the arms of a loving mother, but hooked up to a ventilator, addicted to cocaine and unable to breathe on his own.
Kathleen Hasson, 27, of Riviera Beach thought of aborting him but couldn’t go through with it. Instead, she swallowed prescription pills three to five times a week and used cocaine one to three times a week, hoping the baby would die, according to a Riviera Beach police probable-cause affidavit.
Hasson now faces charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect after allegedly telling police she tried to force her body into a miscarriage instead of delivering her baby.
Hasson declined Wednesday to comment about the cocaine use allegation. She said she didn’t know she was pregnant and just “smoked weed.”
The boy, born Oct. 15 at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, is expected to live. The baby and his brother, who turned 1 year old Monday, will be under the care of the state Department of Children and Families.
“There is prior history involving the mom,” DCF spokeswoman Paige Patterson said.
Soon after the baby’s birth, police and a state child protection investigator were called to St. Mary’s after learning that Hasson’s baby tested positive for cocaine and opiates.
Hasson admitted to taking the narcotic roxicodone — without a prescription — for pain during her pregnancy to help with “severe stomach cramps,” the affidavit said.
She also said she also took a “hit” from a “joint” to help with the pain, but she denied using cocaine, even though she tested positive for the drug. Hasson said the joint she smoked days before giving birth could have had cocaine in it.
A nurse later told police the baby boy was born at 33 weeks when Hasson had a placental abruption, a condition where the placenta detaches from the uterus and cuts off oxygen to the fetus. The condition can occur after cocaine usage during pregnancy. The baby was motionless and blue in color and had a low heart rate after birth. The baby was not breathing and he was hooked up to a ventilator to help him breathe.
He was “very jittery” and “highly fussy” after birth and his feces tested positive for cocaine, indicating the drug was in his mother’s system for months prior to birth, the affidavit said.
Police spoke to Hasson on Tuesday at her home. She was already wanted for failing to appear for petit theft and was arrested immediately. She eventually told them she was raped by several men and feared that the baby belonged to one of them and not her fiance. She didn’t report it out of fear of “what might happen,” the affidavit says.
She used cocaine and prescription pills, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, during the pregnancy, the report states.
Hasson said Wednesday her baby is still in the hospital and is “fine.”
By Alexandra Seltzer | Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012