Baby Born in Bookstore, Crowd Gathers to Watch — and Needs a Privacy Refresher

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — When you walk into a Barnes & Noble, you expect to walk out with books, not an infant.

Del Amo Barnes & Noble. Image source: B&N site

But that’s just what happened to a woman who entered a Los Angeles-area store Friday evening.

That’s uncomfortable enough — but then a curious crowd of about 20 people gathered to watch the blessed event.

Employees asked some not to take pictures or video.

Paramedics put up a cloth to help with privacy.

“That is a really awkward event to do in public,” store manager Marchelle Hughes said. “At the same time it’s a really tender moment, and I think everybody wanted to share that.”

After cleaning up, staff finished their shift with “a positive vibe in the store,” she said.

Firefighters delivered the newborn in the bookstore’s lobby at Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance Fire Department Capt. Steve Deuel said. The firefighters had responded to a call of a woman in labor and were deciding whether to put her in an ambulance or keep her in the store when they realized the infant was coming.

“The baby made that decision for them,” Deuel said. “They went ahead and delivered a healthy baby boy.”

The woman gave birth just five or 10 minutes after walking through the door around 7:30 p.m. The mother and child, whose names were not released, were taken to a hospital and both were doing well, Deuel said.

So…was it okay for the crowd to stop for a looksee…or is that stepping over a line?