A group of barbers on Tuesday said they couldn't stop thinking about a 16-day-old baby who they helped save after he was abandoned in a Suisun City strip mall by his teenage father.
"He was so adorable, peaceful, calm," Tagred Saeidah said. "He wasn't crying at all."
A woman with children of her own was stunned by the actions of the baby's father, Daniel Mitchell. The 18-year-old later told police he was on drugs and did not recall deserting his child.
"It's still shocking to me, being a mother myself," barber Cynthia Meeks said. "I can't see how someone could want to leave their baby like that."
Surveillance video shows Mitchell driving away after leaving a baby carrier — with the infant strapped in to it — in the North Bay parking lot. Officers were able trace the car's license plate back to Mitchell, police said.
A little after 3 p.m. Monday, a pair of barber shop employees at the strip mall on the 140 block of Sunset Avenue noticed the car seat and went to pick it up. When they saw the baby, they called 911.
Initially, the boy did not appear injured, but he was airlifted to Children's Hospital Oakland as a precaution when he appeared to have redness in one eye, police said.
On Tuesday, police said the infant remains in critical, but stable condition, and is expected to survive.
"We just want to know what's going on with the baby because he looked alright sitting in his seat. He was alert, relaxed, sucking on his pacifier," barber Wendell Cooper said.
The group of barbers at J S Barber Shop and Hair Salon said they want the baby — who Saeidah said "had a lot of hair" — to know he will always be welcome there.
"We want him to grow up and come here and and get a haircut at J's shop. He's part of the family now," Saeidah said.
For his part, Mitchell was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Fairfield later Monday and was apprehended by Fairfield police in that incident. He was transported to North Bay Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries sustained in the collision.
Suisun City police interviewed him at the hospital and identified him as the boy's father.
"The suspect admitted to ... using drugs the day of the incident," said Jose Martinez with the Suisun City Police Department. "He was not aware he had left the baby."
Police said the baby's mother is not considered a suspect, but their investigation continues.
Mitchell was arrested and taken into custody on probable cause for child endangerment, child abandonment, committing a felony while on bail and misdemeanor possession of suspected cocaine, Suisun City police said.
He was previously arrested on June 27 by Suisun City police on multiple felony charges, including possession of a firearm, after a report of a burglary on Gray Hawk Lane, police said.
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact Detective Sousa at (707) 421-7361. Information can also be reported anonymously to Solano Crime Stoppers at (707) 644-7867.