The spot where Abdullahi left the infant in the street. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Toni Yelder (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dyimene Criss (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Angel Jordan (Source: WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Parents spend their summer asking their children to get away from the street, but Louisville Metro Police say a mother put her infant there on purpose.
Dunia Abdullahi, 20, was arrested June 26 and charged with first degree child abuse and wanton endangerment.
Witnesses say they don't know what was going through her mind when Abdullahi put her three month old in the street and they surely can't understand it. Toni Yelder walked to a spot in front of her Cecil Avenue house five feet off the curb. That's how far out into the street she says she saw the baby.
"It was right here in the street and there were cars coming by," Yelder said. "We had to tell the cars like that, MOVE!"
Yelder couldn't comprehend what she was seeing, but she'll surely always remember it. She says she was walking back from the corner store at Cecil Avenue and Broadway, when she saw a woman arguing with her boyfriend and the man pull off.
"My little niece said, 'What? She just put a baby on the street,' and I turned around and said, 'She put the baby on the street?'" Yelder said.
Seventh grader Dyimene Criss also saw Abdullahi set her baby down. The infant was wearing only a diaper.
"She didn't say anything," Criss said. "She went back in the house."
Criss asked her cousin Angel Jordan to call 911.
"That's the craziest thing I've ever seen," Jordan said.
Yelder had the same thought.
"I said, 'Girl, you're crazy. Pick that baby up. Pick that baby up, girl' and she said, 'Well that's what we do in Africa to get our husbands to come back to us. We put the baby in the streets,' or some stuff, 'and then they come back."
As we covered this story the next day the temperature in Louisville was 86 degrees. That's one degree cooler than police say it was when the infant was placed on the pavement. According to a thermometer, the pavement temperature was 133 degrees. Yelder said she took her shoe off to test the pavement as the baby girl was on the ground crying.
"It was hot immediately when I took my shoes off cause I didn't have no socks or nothing on," Yelder said. "The baby was trying to roll. It was so hot on that baby's back the baby was trying to roll over. The baby shouldn't even know how to roll over like that so you know the ground had to be hot."
Yelder told witnesses to take pictures so police could see what was happening. When officers arrived, they said Abdullahi admitted to placing her baby in the street.
"I heard her admit what she did," Yelder said. "So I said to her, 'You're going to jail, you're going to jail.' That's where she went to jail, sure did."
At Abdullahi's house Friday, the family carried a baby girl, in a carrier, to a waiting van. The father's family said the baby is ok and will stay with her father.
A judge ordered Abdullahi to have no contact with the infant and police contacted Child Protective Services.