A 28-year-old woman who allegedly abandoned her 3-month-old son at a West Baltimore bus stop was arrested yesterday at a city courthouse where she showed up to attend the infant's custody hearing.
Gwendolyn Holland, 28, was charged with child abandonment and reckless endangerment after police officers went to the custody hearing in Circuit Court and found her waiting for it to begin, said Lt. James L. Rainey of the Western District.
The hearing was scheduled to determine whether the child, who had been abandoned on Tuesday morning, would be released to the custody of family members or placed in foster care.
A tearful Ms. Holland -- who police said has a history of mental instability and was charged with kidnapping two of her other children -- was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. She was taken to the Women's Detention Center, where she was awaiting a bail hearing last night.
Her son, Robert Lee Pendergrass, was found about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at a bus stop at Carey Street and Lafayette Avenue. The baby, dressed in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt and pants, was in a portable car seat when four passers-by spotted him from a car and called the police.
Police said the boy appeared to have been well-taken care of and showed no signs of abuse or neglect. It was not known why a mother might abandon her baby only to return a day later and go to a custody hearing, police said.
The baby's health is reported as good. Social services officials refused to divulge who was given custody of the tiny boy during yesterday's closed hearing since the case involves a juvenile.
According to police, Ms. Holland was arrested in December 1991, after she abducted her two children from the custody of her mother, who police records described as their legal guardian. The report said Ms. Holland was intoxicated when she took the children; she was arrested the same day. Both children were returned to their grandmother.