San Francisco mother Nneka Nash pleads not guilty in abandoned baby case

S.F. Examiner File PhotoRescue: Two officers saved a newborn’s life last week after his bleeding mother reportedly sought and then declined help at Providence Church Shelter in the Bayview.

The mother accused of abandoning her newborn on a Bayview district street after giving birth on a rain-drenched sidewalk appeared in court Tuesday.

Nneka Nash, 39, of San Francisco, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of willful cruelty to a child and a misdemeanor count of failing to provide care to a child.

During her arraignment, Nash was reportedly defiant. After Judge Samuel Feng ordered her to stay away from the baby boy — who was found to have cocaine in his system — and to also steer clear of a two-square-block area in the Bayview, she demanded, “I want to know when I’ll get out.”

Nash remains in custody on $20,000 bail.

“This is just a sad situation,” Feng said.

At the time of her arrest, Nash was reportedly on probation for a misdemeanor drug-related conviction. She is due in court again this morning to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

After giving birth in a rainstorm about 2 a.m. Dec. 12, police said, a bleeding Nash went to Providence Church Shelter to seek help. But she reportedly took off with the baby when workers told her they were calling 911. Nash instead handed the baby to a man whom she apparently knows from the neighborhood and disappeared. The man then flagged down responding officers.

Two officers have been hailed as heroes for saving the baby’s life that night. They rushed the unresponsive newborn to San Francisco General Hospital in their patrol car, administering CPR along the way.

California law allows mothers to leave unwanted babies at safe-surrender sites without fear of reprimand. Such sites include emergency rooms and fire stations.

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