BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Terrifying moments. Two social workers who saved a baby’s life reveal what really happened when they saw a mother stab her daughter before their eyes.

Mike Hellgren takes us inside the chaos.

The terrifying moments still haunt William Short and Dana Hayes.

Both spoke only to WJZ about the day Hayes was monitoring a routine visit between a mom– Kenisha Thomas– and her baby, a girl named Pretty Diamond.

They were inside a conference room at Baltimore’s Social Services complex when all hell broke loose.

Hayes says the mom grabbed a knife from her purse and began stabbing the infant. Hayes screamed.

“Oh, my God! God help! God help!”

Hellgren: “Does anything ever prepare you for what happened here?”
Hayes: “You’re never really prepared. You can’t look at a child in danger and walk away.”

Short– her friend and co-worker– leaped into action taking a chair and throwing it at the mom before she could stab the baby again.

“I was totally scared. I just had to act. It’s real, and it’s a baby.You had like two or three seconds. Knowing that if you don’t act, this could be it for that innocent baby,” Short explained. “You didn’t have time to think about your safety. It seemed like time just stopped.”

Hellgren: “What was going through your mind?”
Short: “I have a niece that’s that old, and looking at her, I just thought about my niece. It’s like a calling from God. You’re in the right place at the right time.”

Short restrained the out-of-control mom who– charging documents reveal– bit him and threatened again to kill the child saying, “If I can’t have her, nobody will.”

The infant was rushed to a waiting ambulance.

Hellgren: “What do you think about people calling you heroes?”
Hayes: “For me, it’s humbling. It’s a very humbling experience.”
Short: “You have no option. You have to do what you have to do, and I think anybody in those circumstances would have done that.”
Hayes: “Not a day goes by without me replaying the whole thing in my mind. I probably will never forget.”

Neither will forget the moment they learned the baby was going to live.

“The time where I felt I really wanted to cry is when they said she’s OK,” Short said.

“I felt like 10,000 bricks were just removed off my shoulders,” Hayes said. “She’s here for a reason, whatever that reason is. I hope she’ll be able to embrace it and live a good, productive and happy life.”

“This experience has made me stronger and a better person,” Short said. “The end result is Pretty Diamond, and she’s OK.”

Pretty Diamond is now out of the hospital. Her mom remains in jail.


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