Arizona police have charged a man with smuggling his infant daughter out of a hospital in a plastic bag – in order, they said, to prevent the state from taking her away.
Jason Matthew Bristol, 33, was arrested at his home on Feb. 26 after walking out of the Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 21 with his 2-day-old daughter hidden in a plastic bag, according to an arrest report obtained by PEOPLE. She was hidden by a blanket.
Police also arrested the baby’s mother, Diana McKinney, 30, who faces child abuse and drug possession charges, according to Colorado Newsday.
The girl had been born at home with marijuana, methamphetamine and morphine in her system, according to the report. After being screened at the hospital, social workers notified child protective services of the girl’s condition, but McKinney left the hospital before being released.
In newly released hospital surveillance, Bristol can be seen carrying a bag down a hallway. According to 12 News Bristol had triggered the alarms, but as investigating nurses could see no baby on him, he was allowed to leave.
In an interview with police, Bristol acknowledged putting his daughter in the bag but said he thought it was okay, according to the arrest report. He said he didn’t want CPS to take the child. The blanket, he said, was to keep her warm. Bristol also said he was a meth addict and intended to go into recovery soon.
Bristol told police he thought that the noise from the alarms was really a fire alarm.
Officials told the Christian Science Monitor that the hospital’s security parameters are being reviewed. The child is safe, Glendale police told PEOPLE in a statement.
Bristol was already on probation for a drug possession charge and his father had taken out an order of protection against him. He has been previously arrested for assault and domestic violence, according to the arrest report.
Bristol has been charged with child abuse and drug possession. According to the police report, he was found with a usable amount of meth at the time of his arrest.