Mother Gave Birth In Motel Bathtub While Snuffing Cocaine

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A woman was arrested Friday after she gave birth in the bathub of a Florida motel room during what she told authorities was a crack cocaine binge.

Chrystal Hassell, 37, is charged with child neglect and remains under suicide watch in Marion County Jail. A Department of Children and Families spokeswoman told WPBF that the agency has taken custody of the infant boy and his 11-month-old brother.

Hassell told police that she didn’t realize she was pregnant again until March, when she felt the baby kick. She told police that she resolved not to smoke crack once she learned of the pregnancy, but that she’d gone on a binge the day before the baby boy was born.

The woman had the child in a bathtub in an Ocala motel room, and cut the umbilical cord with her teeth, the Ocala Star Banner reported. Hassell called 911 once the child turned blue. The child remains in critical condition at a Gainesville hospital.

In a separate interview with the newspaper, Hassell said she had used drugs since she was a teenager, and that both her 11-month-old son and her 16-year-old daughter were born addicted to drugs because she used while she was pregnant with them.

The father of Hassell’s two boys, Vincent Terry, is in Marion County Jail on a warrant out of Colorado. The Ocala Star Banner conducted a jailhouse interview with Terry.

Terry said he and his girlfriend have several problems facing them, such as finding a place to live, but that he is looking forward to a life with Hassell and believes they can overcome any obstacle.

“Of course we’re going to stay together. My kids are here. She’s not a bad person. She just got a problem and, together, we’ll fight it,” he said.

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