Dad CARLOS CARDENAS arranged for the "abandonment" of his then 6-month-old daughter 2 years ago. A cute little scam involving a New York cab which made the cab driver sound like a big hero--until New York's Finest did a little pavement pounding. Now Daddy has been arrested on statutory rape charges involving the baby's mother, who was only 14 at the time.
Father of a Baby Left With a Cabdriver in 2008 Is Charged
By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Published: April 8, 2010
The father of a baby girl who was abandoned two years ago and taken to a Queens firehouse by a livery-cab driver was arrested on Thursday and charged with the statutory rape of the baby’s mother, who was 14 at the time, the police said.
The baby, Daniella, then 6 months old, was at the center of a scheme that unfolded in February 2008 and resulted in the arrest of the livery driver, Klever Sailema.
The cabdriver initially told the authorities that the baby had been abandoned in the back of his cab by the father, who left the cab to make a phone call and never returned.
Mr. Sailema was initially declared a hero after taking the girl to a firehouse in Corona.
But the police soon discovered that his story was a lie, and that Mr. Sailema had colluded with the girl’s father, Carlos Cardenas, 29, to abandon her.
Daniella’s mother walked out on Mr. Cardenas a week earlier and he was unable to care for the child anymore, Mr. Sailema has said.
Mr. Sailema was charged with falsely reporting an incident and criminal facilitation, but the case was eventually dismissed.
The authorities could not find Mr. Cardenas but were interested in locating him because the girl’s mother was only 14, and thus legally unable to consent to sex.
After the incident involving the cabdriver, the mother and Daniella were taken into the care of social services officials.
As it turns out, Mr. Cardenas had fled New York, heading first to Puerto Rico and then somewhere outside the country, the police said.
Recently, however, the authorities were told that he had resurfaced in New York, where he was arrested.
No charges were ever brought against the girl’s mother, whose name was not released.