NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) – A North Miami Police officer responded to the scene of a special delivery, and her body camera captured first responders’ efforts to help an expecting mother who was giving birth inside a rideshare vehicle in the middle of rush hour.
The bodycam footage, obtained exclusively by 7News, captured the officers on the move to help Sherllay Debe Petion, who was already in labor when she got in a Lyft ride headed to the hospital, Jan. 24.
Baby Bithia’s unique arrival into the world happened under an Interstate 95 overpass, along Northeast 135th Street.
In the end, Petion and her baby daughter would be healthy and at Jackson North Medical Center in North Miami Beach, where paramedics with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue rushed them.
Speaking with 7News several days after Bithia was born, Petion said she had hoped to make it to the hospital in that Lyft SUV, but her daughter wouldn’t wait.
The bodycam video showed one of the first officers to arrive at the scene, Officer Tamara Numa Richard. She described the dramatic day at the office.
“You can see the chief in the corner right here,” she said as she pointed at the bodycam video.
Richard had been randomly chosen that day to ride with her boss, North Miami Police Chief Cherise G. Gause.
“I’m telling her that the baby’s OK,” said Richard.
There was double the pressure and triple the stress, as Richard and Gause stood outside that Toyota SUV and helped Petion through her delivery.
Petion’s cousin, Cherley Zamor. was in the vehicle assisting as well.
“Which way do you feel like coming out [of the SUV]?” a first responder is heard asking Petion.
MDFR officials took it from there and took the mother and daughter to Jackson North.
All of it made for an emotional day for Richard.
“I was just making sure that Mom knew that her baby was OK,” she said.
Bithia’s birth hit close to home for Richard, herself a new mother, who helped another mom in need.
As for whether she had ever responded to a scene where a baby was being delivered, Richard replied, “That was my first time.”
When asked how she felt after Petion was taken to the hospital, Richard said, “Everything that I signed up for, this job, and that day all over again, this was the first time that I was – I felt like I finally helped someone, because it could have been me.”
Richard said she even discussed potential play dates for her baby with Petion and her daughter.
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