Warning: Readers may find details included in this article upsetting
A McDonald’s employee in Redwood City, California was charged with attempted murder after she was arrested on suspicion of trying to flush her newborn baby down a toilet at the fast-food restaurant, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Sarah Lockner, 25, who was jailed on $11 million bail, was also charged with one count of assault on a child becoming comatose or paralyzed and an enhancement stemming from the victim being under 5 years old.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the baby was delivered on Labor Day in the bathroom of a McDonald’s at 185 Chestnut St.
“It’s a real sad story. It’s a real sad story,” Wagstaffe said. “She said she didn’t know she was pregnant.”
Lockner gave birth while working the 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. shift at the restaurant, according to prosecutors. She went to the restroom several times due to stomach pain before a co-worker checked on her and reportedly saw blood on the floor in a restroom stall.
The suspect told the co-worker she just had a heavy period, but prosecutors said another colleague looked into the stall and saw a newborn baby face down in the toilet bowl with Lockner’s hand on the child’s back. Then, the co-worker heard the sound of the toilet flushing.
Lockner asked the witness not to call police, prosecutors said.
But police were called to the restaurant and upon arrival the newborn baby boy had no pulse and was not breathing. He was rushed to a hospital and put into a medically induced coma, officials said.
The infant survived but prosecutors said his “neurological prognosis is unknown.”
Lockner will appear in court on Sept. 18 to enter a plea. She is in custody at Maple Street Correctional Center in Redwood City.