Baby who ate meth had recent child abuse report: court papers

Citing the baby's positive test for methamphetamine and the recent child abuse report, police described the home situation as unsafe.

Baby who ate meth had recent child abuse report: court papers
The baby boy was taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland in late October, police said. Google Street View

The baby who ingested methamphetamine at his Berkeley home last month had just tested positive for drugs days earlier, triggering a suspected child abuse report, court papers show.

As of this week, Berkeley police said they had no updates on the baby's condition and did not know if he was still in the hospital.

The baby's mother has been charged with one count of felony child abuse and remained in custody as of publication time, according to court records.

A suspected child abuse report was filed with Berkeley police on Oct. 28 after the little boy tested positive for amphetamines, opiates and cocaine, according to court papers reviewed by Aipsasiamedia this week.

The positive test results were recorded on the boy's first birthday, BPD wrote.

Two days later, on Oct. 30, a Berkeley police officer wrote that he was driving on Fifth Street in West Berkeley at about 1:30 p.m. when he saw a man "dart out into the street carrying a limp infant in his arms."

The man, who was identified as the baby's father, "appeared to be in distress." The infant was "dangling in [his] arms lifeless," and appeared to be unconscious, police wrote.

The officer took the baby to his patrol vehicle and saw that his breathing was shallow.

The baby was "shaking in my arms, his eyes were crossing and I noticed that his pupils were dilated," the officer wrote. He "was not making an effort to cry or coo as an infant should."

Read more court coverage on The Scanner.

The father told police that his wife had been feeding the baby when "he started acting weird," police wrote. The father also said the baby had been born with drugs in his system, including heroin and opiates.

Firefighters arrived to take the baby to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and police then went inside the home, in the 2400 block of Fifth Street (near Channing Way), to investigate, according to court papers.

The boy's mother, 35-year-old Mabel Miranda of Berkeley, said she had fed the boy rice with soy sauce when he got hungry that day, police wrote.

At some point, she told police, he "began to look around and he was not acting right."

She said she believed he "ate something he was not supposed to but she did not know what," according to court papers.

She also said she had used methamphetamine during her pregnancy, causing the baby to test positive for drugs, police wrote.

Police noted that Miranda stated that "the entire incident was her fault" after being advised of her right to remain silent.

She said she had brought methamphetamine into the home "and left remnants of the controlled substance on the floor," police wrote, on the carpet amid diapers, toys and children's shoes.

BPD determined that the baby had been crawling in that area and putting items in his mouth when he ingested the methamphetamine.

Police also found an unsecured loaded firearm and ammunition in plain view during a search of the home, as well as a "container with suspected heroin residue," BPD said.

That night, the hospital called police just after 7:20 to say the baby had tested positive for methamphetamine and was in the ICU, according to court papers.

"I believe that the conditions that he is living in are detrimental to his health/safety and the health/safety of the additional children living in the home," a Berkeley police officer wrote that night.

Citing the baby's positive test for methamphetamine and the recent suspected child abuse report, as well as the children's general access to narcotics, the officer noted that neither parent seemed "capable of taking care of there [sic] children."

Mabel Miranda. BPD

On Nov. 2, Mabel Miranda entered a not-guilty plea in response to the child abuse charge. (Her first name is also spelled "Mable" in some court records.)

In a news brief that day, Berkeleyside was the first to report on the allegations.

The same day, a judge denied a motion to allow Miranda to be released on her own recognizance.

That week, Berkeley police said the 1-year-old boy remained in the ICU but was "doing better."

This week, the court ordered an assessment of Miranda by a substance abuse treatment program.

She is also scheduled for a preliminary hearing, essentially a mini-trial to determine if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed, on Dec. 18.

Miranda had a pretrial hearing set for Wednesday. Her next court date was not listed as of publication time.

She is being held at Santa Rita Jail on $100,000 bail, according to records online. She has no other criminal cases listed in Alameda County.

CORRECTION: Police said they had no information about the child's condition as of this week. The story has been updated to reflect this.


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