DHS takes daughter from mom shown in viral video

Posted: March 12, 2014

FOR GOD'S sake, you have to do something!

That was the gist of the scores of emails and phone calls that poured into the Department of Human Services late last week, when the world laid eyes on a disturbing cellphone video that showed a little girl repeatedly trying to wake her barely conscious mother on a SEPTA bus.

On Friday, the agency announced that it was launching an investigation into the incident, along with the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit.

During the weekend, the little girl was removed from her mother's home by DHS workers.

The mother, whom the Daily News is not identifying because she has not been charged with a crime, posted this update on Facebook:

"I f------ hope all you skumbags [sic] out there are f------ happy," she wrote. "I just lost the best thing in the world to me all because ppl [sic] think before they open there [sic] mouths!"

A DHS official declined to comment on the case yesterday.

Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, said in an email that the mother hasn't been taken into police custody or criminally charged.

"DHS will ultimately take the lead on opening a file and investigating deeper into this family and the situation," he said.

"If their investigation reveals any criminal activity, then our Special Victims Unit will work with them and proceed accordingly."

The 4 1/2-minute video, which was posted Thursday night on the "People of Septa" Facebook page, showed a red-haired woman sitting with her eyes closed and mouth wide open while the Route 66 bus rumbled along Frankford Avenue.

The little girl reached out and held up her mother's head, which repeatedly fell forward, seemingly in slow motion.

According to court records, the 26-year-old woman has past convictions on charges that include retail theft, disorderly conduct and promoting prostitution while being an inmate in a house of corrections.


On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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