Merced police were alerted by staff at Mercy Medical Center after two people showed up carrying dolls that resembled real babies.
According to Merced police, the man and woman first showed up at the hospital’s emergency room on Saturday, requesting medical treatment. The female was carrying a baby-like doll, which was noted by hospital security.
On Monday, the same people again showed up at the hospital. The woman was able to get to the second floor, where the maternity ward is, by “unknown means,” according to police. In her possession was one of the dolls in a baby carrier and a diaper bag.
According to police, nurses immediately notified security. The man who accompanied the woman to the hospital was waiting downstairs, and both were removed from the hospital.
Police were called, but the couple had already left the hospital by the time officers arrived.
Police noted the woman was wearing a nurse’s outfit with a log-in sticker from her Saturday visit to the emergency room. Police said law enforcement agencies in the region were notified about the incident.
Merced police Sgt. Jay Struble said the man and woman have not been arrested and that police are looking into whether a crime was committed. Struble said police haven’t spoken with the man and woman yet, but plan to.
Bob McLaughlin, spokesman for Mercy Medical Center, said the case was the first time he’s heard of someone trying to gain access to a maternity ward with a doll. He said the couple’s intentions were still unclear .
McLaughlin said the man was also carrying a fake baby. “We do not why they were in the hospital,” he said.
All of the hospital’s security measures worked effectively, McLaughlin said, and the woman was denied access through security doors that lead to the Family Birth Center.