Danny Stewart Wiki – Danny Stewart Biography
Pete Mercurio was walking out the door to meet his then-partner (now husband) Danny Stewart for dinner in August 2000 when his phone rang. It was Stewart, calling to tell him he’d be late. He’d found an abandoned baby in the subway and had called 911 from a payphone.
A social worker, Stewart, spotted a tiny bundle wrapped in a sweatshirt while walking through an eerily empty station. At first thought it was a doll, perhaps left behind by a child, until he saw a tiny leg move. He quickly discovered a newborn baby, the umbilical cord still attached.
Mercurio, who authored a book about this chance encounter, spoke to CNN about that night and about how he and Stewart ended up raising the baby as their own.
His age is unclear.
Danny Stewart Found Abandoned Baby in Subway
On Aug. 28, Stewart took the subway to meet Mercurio for dinner. As he climbed the stairs to exit the 14th Street station, something lying on the floor, tucked against a wall, caught his eye: a bundled sweatshirt with two tiny legs peeking out.
Stewart assumed it was a child’s lost doll.
Until the legs moved.
“I rushed down. I loosened this sweatshirt that he was wrapped up in, made sure he was breathing OK. And when I did that, I could also tell that he appeared to be a newborn because he had his umbilical cord still partially intact,” Stewart said.
“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, how is there a baby on the ground here?”
Worried that the baby might be injured, Stewart decided not to pick him up. When he couldn’t get the attention of anyone on the subway platform, he ran to call the police from a payphone on the street above and returned to wait with the baby.
“Time is standing still for me. And I’m thinking that ‘Oh, they probably thought this was a prank call. That’s why they’re not coming,'” he said.
“And that’s when I called Pete and I blurted out, ‘I found a baby!'”
By the time Mercurio arrived, the police were already on the scene. Stewart spent hours retelling the details of his discovery to police and a reporter who interviewed Stewart for a nightly newscast.
After the chaos subsided and Stewart had been cleared to leave the scene, Mercurio told him, “I think you’re going to be connected to this baby for the rest of your life.”
Neither of them could have predicted then that the connection would entail becoming parents to the little boy, an event they’d commemorate two decades later in a picture book called Our Subway Baby.
Life After Discovery
The story of Stewart finding the baby and the subsequent search for the child’s biological parents dominated the New York news cycle.
Over the next several days, Stewart tried to find out what happened to the baby and managed to connect with the baby’s social worker, who shared he was doing OK but that she couldn’t say more.
About six weeks later, Stewart received a call from a lawyer with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, asking if he would attend an upcoming hearing and testify about the night he found the baby.
Stewart agreed and found himself at the court hearing in early December.
After Stewart testified about the events of that night back in August, the judge asked him if he would mind remaining for the rest of the hearing. After listening to testimony from the police officers, Stewart said the judge turned to him and said:
“Mr Stewart, I want to let you know what’s happening. In situations where we have a baby that’s been abandoned, we want to place that baby in pre-adoptive foster care as quickly as possible… Would you be interested in adopting this baby?”
He replied, “Yes, but I don’t think it’s that easy.”
The judge smiled with a bit of chuckle and said, “Well, it can be.”
“I don’t know whether you call it fate or destiny or divine intervention, or just something greater than my control. But it just seemed like that was the compelling reason why I just said yes,” Stewart said.
Mercurio stormed out of the apartment. When he returned, Stewart told him, “Fate is giving us this child; how can we say no?”
Mercurio agreed to go with Stewart to visit the baby at the foster home a couple of days later.
Mercurio held the baby in his arms for the first time and said he had a “transformative moment.”
“It just felt right,” he said.
The pair took turns snapping Polaroid photos of each other holding the baby that day and agreed to move forward with the adoption process.
They decided to name their baby boy Kevin in honour of Mercurio’s sibling, who had died at birth.
When Mercurio and Stewart attended the next hearing on Dec. 20, the judge asked if they would like the baby for the holidays — a mere two days away.
What followed were 48 frantic hours as they tried to prepare themselves to care for a new baby.