Human Interest

For the third time, Florida deputy assists with roadside delivery of baby

On April 30th, a Florida deputy helped bring a baby into the world roadside… for the third time!

According to a press release from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Master Deputy Daniel “Red” Jones was approached by a distraught father, requesting assistance for his laboring wife. The couple’s vehicle was pulled over on the shoulder of Highway 60 in Plant City, a small town 45 miles east of St. Petersburg, Florida. After radioing for help from the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Deputy Jones rushed to the woman’s side. 

Bodycam footage shows that Jones, who has been on the Hillsborough County police force since 2001, found the woman lying across the passenger seat in the vehicle. He quickly assessed the situation, learned that the woman was full-term and said, “She’s ready to go!”

As she moaned in pain, he encouraged her to “breathe through it.” As he held her hand, the woman confirmed her water had already broken. When he asked her if this was her first baby, she responded that her sixth was on the way.

Jones opted not to move her because “I’m afraid if I change the position on her, the baby’s gonna come.” He reminded her, “I know it hurts, but you’ve been through this before.” 

Less than two minutes later, the woman can be heard gasping and crying out, shouting, “She’s coming, she’s coming!” The deputy urged her not to push, but nature was already taking its course. Just seconds later, a baby girl was born, less than five minutes after Jones arrived on the scene. 

“There we go, I got a baby! There you go, Mama!” whooped the overjoyed deputy. “I told you I didn’t want to deliver a babyanother baby!” Seconds later, he crooned “pretty little girl” and “that’s a beautiful sound, Mama. That’s a beautiful sound!” as the newborn’s hearty cries proved her lungs were in good working order and that she was breathing normally. 

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Shortly after the birth, both mom and baby were transported by ambulance to a local hospital. While Deputy Jones jokingly recommended the girl be named “Red,” the family announced that her name is Lexela Luis Lopez. Mom and baby are doing well.

According to a Twitter post by a local news anchor, Dad Luis Lopez thanked all those who assisted with Lexela’s birth, saying, “I want to thank the Hillsborough Sheriffs Department for having amazing officers that helped us to deliver our baby girl… Also thanks to the fire department and EMS team for the awesome job they did there.” 

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister commented, “I am extremely proud of Master Deputy Jones’s quick actions and dedication to serving our community in any capacity,” noting, “This is his third time assisting a citizen with delivering a baby! While delivering in the front seat of a car was not the original birth plan, Master Deputy Jones reassured the mother of six that she was in good hands. I wish mom, dad, and their new baby girl all the joy and happiness. Congratulations!”

Editor’s Note, 5/8/23: The original date of service for this officer stated 2011, and has been corrected to read 2001. We regret the error.

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