A metro Atlanta couple is singing the praises of the Douglasville Police Department after two officers delivered their baby in a parking lot.
Letoya Williams and her husband Kevin were trying to make it to the hospital the night of July 4th, but quickly realized the baby was coming too fast.
"The contractions started coming faster and harder. It kind of happened really fast," Letoya recalled.
Kevin spotted a police cruiser and frantically ran up to Douglasville Police Officer Candace Tongate, who was in the middle of a traffic stop.
"I heard a man's voice behind me saying 'Help me, my wife is in labor," Tongate remembered.
Tongate told the couple the safest bet was to pull into the parking lot and wait for an ambulance to transport them.
"When my husband ran around and opened the car door he said, 'I can see the baby's head! The baby is coming,'" Letoya said. When Tongate heard that, she immediately called 911 where a dispatcher started giving her directions on how to deliver the baby.
Officer Tongate's supervisor, Sgt. Stacey Gruber, heard the radio dispatching and came to try to help.
"Dad was a little frantic," Gruber rememebred thinking when she got out of the car. "I started asking the dad if he had blankets or anything we could use."
Letoya said Officer Tongate was the calmest one in the group. Later she would find out the young female officer has no real experience with children or babies.
"I couldn't believe she didn't have children of her own, the way she was so in control," Letoya said. "I don't know if I would have been that calm, and this baby is my third!"
"In the moment, I just thought don't panic," Tongate said. "Dad was saying 'Oh no, we don't want this happening in the car,' but he calmed down. He climbed into the driver's seat and held his wife's hand through the whole process."
As the dispatcher told Tongate to have mom keep pushing, Letoya said in an instant her infant daughter "plopped out, and the officer literally caught her in her hands."
An ambulance and paramedics arrived and took over cleaning up the baby girl. By then, the parents had shared with the officers they were expecting a little girl and her name was Riley.
All the while, the couple’s two other children, boys ages six and four, were in the backseat.
"The kids were just excited because they knew the sister they’d been waiting for was finally here," Letoya said.
Mother and baby are still in the hospital, and Tongate has already been by to visit.
"It was an amazing thing to be a part of something I will carry with me for the rest of my life," she said. "Hopefully, I will get to see her grow up over the years."
Meantime, the Williams have high praise for the Douglasville Police Department...especially Officer Candace Tongate.
"The only explanation we can come up with is it was a God thing -- Officer Tongate being in the right place at the perfect time," Letoya said.
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