Mich. cop delivers baby during traffic stop
The officer pulled over an SUV that had sped through several lights, then realized why they were rushing
By David Jesse
Detroit Free Press
WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. — Heading home late Saturday along Michigan Avenue in Westland, Wayne County Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Glatfelter noticed an SUV jumping through a red light and then running several more.
Five minutes later, instead of handing out a traffic ticket, Glatfelter was celebrating the birth of a baby girl with the couple in the vehicle.
Glatfelter said when he first noticed the SUV driving eastbound on Michigan, he wasn't sure if it really was doing anything wrong.
The light turned green just as the vehicle accelerated through the intersection, so Glatfelter thought the driver might just be trying to time the light.
After the speeding SUV ran through the next several red lights, Glatfelter -- who was driving a patrol vehicle -- pulled it over east of Beech Daly in Dearborn Heights.
He walked up to the vehicle, and before the driver could say anything, the woman in the backseat spoke up.
"I'm having a baby," she cried, squeezing the back of the passenger seat in front of her.
"Yes, you are," Glatfelter, a father of three himself, responded.
He grabbed gloves, hauled out his medical kit and called for EMS. He also grabbed gloves for the driver, who was the woman's husband.
"I told him, 'We're having this baby right here,' " Glatfelter recalled Sunday afternoon. "I was just trying to snap him out of it."
The pair laid the front passenger seat back as much as they could and tried to make the woman as comfortable as possible.
Glatfelter talked to dispatch on the radio.
"I don't even remember everything they asked me," he said. "I just answered yes to everything else."
Glatfelter held the flashlight and maneuvered everyone into position. He got the husband ready to catch the baby.
"I told him we didn't want to drop the baby," Glatfelter said.
He advised the man not to pull when the head came out and to make sure the umbilical cord wasn't wrapped around the baby's head.
Then, "nature took its course," Glatfelter said.
"It kind of felt like when I was in the delivery room with my own kids. I was high-fiving the dad. The mom did all the work. I was just the guide."
Thirty seconds after the birth, EMS arrived, hustled the mom and baby into the ambulance and headed to Oakwood Hospital.
Only five minutes passed from the traffic stop to the birth. The family is doing well, police said Sunday in a news release. The couple were unable to be reached for comment.
"Our personnel are trained to handle all sorts of situations, but it's not every day they encounter a woman in heavy labor during a routine traffic stop," Sheriff Benny Napoleon said in a statement. He said the sergeant's "intervention and professional training helped this family bring their newborn into the world safely. We're glad he was there to assist and wish them all the best."
After delivering the baby, Glatfelter started to fill out paperwork. He also texted his wife: "You won't believe what I just did."
"She's like, 'Get out. You're kidding.' I told her I wasn't. When I got home, we were up for a while talking. I was pretty keyed up."
Copyright 2013 the Detroit Free Press
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Recommended for you
Join the discussion
PoliceOne top 5
- DC cops' body cams won't be on while they monitor inauguration demonstrators
- Slain Fla. officer's cuffs used to arrest suspect
- Pa. cop sues Wal-Mart over termination for carrying gun on duty
- Pa. troopers union criticizes plan to scrap lie-detector tests for recruits
- Details emerge in shooting of Ariz. trooper by driver he sought to help