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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 March 2008, 17:41 GMT
Charges over 'abandoned' NY girl
Baby girl left in a New York cab
The case captivated New York after images of the girl emerged
A New York cabbie who took an infant to a fire station claiming it had been left in his cab has been charged with lying to help friends abandon the baby.

Klever Sailema, 44, had been hailed when he dropped off the six-month-old girl on Thursday, in a case that caught the city's imagination.

He initially told police a man had got into his cab carrying the baby, but had vanished after asking him to stop.

Police now say Mr Sailema was helping a family that could not cope with her.

Officers say that a day after Mr Sailema dropped her off at the fire station, they learned that the baby's mother was a 14-year-old girl from the Bronx district of New York.

Feeling terrible

The family allegedly decided to abandon the child when the teenager ran away from home after a violent row with her father.

New York cab driver Klever Sailema
Mr Sailema says he never meant any harm
Police say Mr Sailema became involved because he was dating the sister of the baby's father.

Investigators believe she persuaded the driver to help the overwhelmed family.

Mr Sailema has been charged with filing a false report.

In an interview published on Sunday, he told the New York Post newspaper that he was only trying to assure the baby's safety.

"It wasn't my intention to hurt anybody," he is quoted as saying.

"Every time I lied, I though it would end there. I felt terrible."

The baby, who has not been named, has been placed in a foster home.

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