An infant is in critical condition days after his mother said she gave birth in a Marion County motel bathtub while on a 24-hour drug binge.
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.
"At one point, according to her telling investigators, the baby stopped breathing," said Judge Cochran, public information officer for the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
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.
Hassell told investigators she gave the baby breaths for nearly an hour to keep him alive and finally, after learning her boyfriend wasn't coming, called 911.
Hassell: "I was only 30, like 32 weeks."
911: "Okay, did anyone assist with the delivery?"
Hassell: "No... I was here by myself."
The newborn was airlifted from Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where he is listed in critical condition.
Hassell has now joined Terry at the Marion County Jail. She has been charged with child neglect.
"She should have called 911 earlier -- she should have reached out to medical professionals, she didn't do that, and that's why she's in jail," Cochran said.
That's something Hassell now admits, according to the arrest affidavit.
The Department of Children and Families said this kind of incident shouldn't happen. The 11-month-old boy has been placed in foster care.
Hassell is being held on $5,000 bond. Terry is awaiting extradition to Colorado.