A man walked into a hospital and bottle-fed a baby that didn’t belong to him.
The incident occurred around midnight on December 28 at a neonatal intensive care at MercyOne hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. According to KOLD, he pretended to be the father of a baby, snuck past a nurse, bottle-fed a baby and then left.
Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said, “The family, obviously, is very frightened. This is something that would startle any parent.”
Police are unaware of the man’s motive at this time.
“We don’t know what his true intent was or what he was planning on doing further down the road. We need to get him identified, so we can at least hear his side of the story and have our investigators better understand what was going on,” Parizek said.
Parizek added this is a first for police department.
“This is definitely something new to all of us. When we think about child-stealing or predators, this is not how they behave or at least how we’re familiar with them behaving. In this case, there was absolutely no harm done to the child and, on the surface, no intent to commit any other crime beyond what he did to get in there,” Parizek said.
In a statement provided to KOLD, MercyOne said the incident was “extremely troubling.” It has since strengthened and expanded its security measures by “reeducating NICU staff and security, increasing identification checks and sign-in logs and increasing security and staffing in the NICU.”