RAPIDES PARISH, LA (KALB/CNN) – A new mother in Louisiana is devastated her husband missed the birth of their child when he was arrested on the way to the hospital for allegedly driving recklessly.
Bridget Evans says the birth of her baby girl, Letty Evans, should have been the best day of her life, but trouble started when she went into labor Monday evening – seven weeks early. She saw blood on her feet.
"It was the most horrific experience that any mother, especially a first-time mother, not knowing what's going on,” Bridget Evans said.
The woman says she and her husband, Zak Evans, immediately jumped in the car, put on their flashers and headed to the hospital.
On the way there, Creola Police Officer Don Crooks spotted them. He followed the couple for about five miles, Chief Heath Landry says.
"My officer clocked them doing 108 in a 55. He got behind him, cut his lights and siren on. The vehicle then started passing people on the right and left shoulder,” Landry said.
The couple also reportedly wasn’t using their flashers.
A Pineville Police officer pulled the car over when the couple stopped near an exit. The Evanses say they tried to explain the situation to the officers.
"My husband immediately started screaming, ‘My wife is in labor.’ And I started screaming, ‘I am in premature labor.’ And we both got out when they were like, ‘Get out of the car!’” Bridget Evans said.
Zak Evans says he put his hands out the window and complied, but the officers say the high rate of speed, combined with the fact the man didn’t pull over, made them pull out the handcuffs.
“I didn't have time to sit down and look at my speedometer... I was worried about her, about the blood going down and about my baby dying,” Zak Evans said.
The husband was taken to the Rapides Parish Jail to be booked while his wife was taken by ambulance to Cabrini Hospital.
"From my understanding, Mr. Evans was very irate, threatening to get everyone if he missed his wife's pregnancy,” Landry said.
Zak Evans says he was mad, but it was only because he was worried about his wife and baby.
Cabrini Hospital intervened in the father’s arrest, as he was about to be transferred to Grant Parish.
"My officer decided to just write the citations because apparently, a doctor called and said that there might be issues, possibly with the pregnancy,” Landry said.
Officers wrote Zak Evans a ticket for speeding, flight from an officer and careless operation. Crooks then dropped him off in the hospital parking lot.
But the Evanses say it was too late.
"So, I get up here, and I had missed my baby being born. That's the only thing I was aiming for,” Zak Evans said.
Landry says the arrest was a public safety issue.
"My officer explained to him: what if you would've hit another vehicle on the way there,” he said.
The Evanses say they are still unhappy about what happened.
"They wouldn't give us that chance to be able to experience something that we'll never get back,” Bridget Evans said.
Still, the family is choosing to look at the bright side. Baby Letty, born 4 pounds, 4 ounces, is going to be OK.
"She's alive, thanks to the Cabrini team. She's alive,” Bridget Evans said.
Creola Police say their three officers don’t have dash or body cameras.
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