A fast-food cashier is being held on $11 million bail after prosecutors say she gave birth in a bathroom and held the newborn baby face down in the toilet last week during a shift at McDonald’s in Redwood City.
Sarah Lockner, 25, was arrested Sept. 4 after her co-workers called police to the restaurant at 185 Chestnut St., San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Witnesses said Lockner complained about stomach pain and went to the bathroom repeatedly. One of them went into the bathroom to check on her and saw blood on the floor, which she claimed was due to a heavy period.
Another co-worker looked over the wall of the bathroom stall and allegedly saw a baby face down in the toilet, according to prosecutors.
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Thursday:
“Our witness saw a hand on the back of the newborn pushing it into the water in the toilet.”
The witness subsequently heard the toilet flush after looking away, but it’s not clear whether Lockner was attempting to flush the baby, according to Wagstaffe.
When police arrived, the infant wasn’t breathing and did not have a pulse.
The child was transported to a hospital and placed under a medically induced coma. The baby survived, but the long-term effects of the trauma are not yet known.
“What I was told by my team is that it was at or near full-term. … They do not believe this was a premature delivery. … (Lockner) said she didn’t know she was pregnant. … We don’t believe that.”
Lockner was arraigned Monday on charges of attempted murder and felony child endangerment, and returns to court at 1:30 p.m. next Monday to enter a plea.
Her defense attorney Jonathan McDougall with San Mateo County’s Private Defender Program could not immediately be reached for comment.