Mother Wanted In North Bergen Child Abuse Case Apprehended In NYC

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has announced that the mother wanted in connection with a case of child abuse in North Bergen has been captured in New York.

Shortly before noon this morning, Wednesday, March 9, members of the United States Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force and the New York City Police Department arrested Shaqwana Baker, 21, for her involvement in a child abuse case that gravely injured her 3-year-old daughter. Baker was arrested at approximately 11:55 a.m. in the area of West 37th Street and 10th Avenue in New York, New York.

Baker and her boyfriend, Edward Smith, 29, of Far Rockaway, New York, are both charged with Aggravated Assault, a crime of the second degree, and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, crimes of the second degree.

Prosecutor Suarez says on Sunday, January 23, 2022, the New York City Police Department was notified by NYU Langone Hospital that Baker brought her 3-year-old daughter to the facility with life threatening injuries. The child was later transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Bellevue Hospital, where she continues to receive medical treatment.

An investigation by the NYPD and HCPO Special Victims Unit determined the 3-year-old girl was the victim of child abuse and was injured while staying at a North Bergen motel with Baker and Smith. Her injuries are expected to be permanent and life altering.

Smith was arrested on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at the Hudson County Correctional Facility, where he was being held pending a detention hearing on additional criminal charges. The Honorable Paul M. DePascale, J.S.C. granted the State’s motion for detention on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Baker is currently in custody in New York and is awaiting extradition to Hudson County. Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, the New York City Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service with the investigation and arrest. The above charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.