Vincent Terry, Colorado fugitive: His crack-addled, umbilical-cord-biting love story
More photos below.
Vincent Terry and his girlfriend, Chrystal Hassell, met in Colorado five years ago, and while they're still in love, Hassell admitted to a reporter that "we're the worst thing for each other."
And how. Hassell recently gave birth in a motel bathroom following a crack binge, severing the umbilical cord by biting it. Terry, for his part, had left her alone a short time before being busted on fugitive warrants out of El Paso County.
A Facebook photo of Chrystal Hassell taken during happier times.
Terry's alleged crimes are hardly minor: They're listed on Florida.Arrests.org as attempted murder, domestic violence and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.
But rather than facing the music in Colorado Springs, he and Hassell, along with their eleven-month-old son, headed to Ocala, Florida, where his dad lives.
Here's a Facebook photo of Hassell when she was pregnant with her first child:
Given this experience, Hassell presumably had some idea about what being with child feels like -- not to mention the demands of motherhood. But she told the Ocala StarBanner she didn't realize baby number two was on the way until March, when she was about six months along.
One possible reason: She'd been smoking a lot of crack -- and while she decided to quit once she learned of the pregnancy, her addiction had other ideas. By this month, she was back on the pipe.
A Google Maps image of the Vacation Host Inn, where Terry, Hassell and their young son were staying.
Meanwhile, Hassell decided she no longer wanted to stay with Terry's dad. So she and Terry decamped for a motel called the Vacation Host Inn. But things soon went terribly wrong. Continue for more about the schmucky love story between Vincent Terry and Chrystal Hassell, including more photos.
A Google Maps screen capture of the area near where Terry was pulled over by police.
Hassell told the StarBanner that Vincent took their son back to his father's house, where he hoped to pick up some clean clothes and sheets for her. But on the 14200 block of Southeast 36th Avenue, he was pulled over by local police, allegedly for improper window tinting.
Upon checking Terry's license, they discovered he was a fugitive from Colorado. But closer examination of the vehicle revealed a more immediate issue: a huge bloodstain on one seat.
When quizzed about the blood, Vincent reportedly told police his girlfriend had miscarried earlier that day. She'd supposedly bled in the car en route to the hospital -- and upon her release, she asked to lay down at the motel.
A Chrystal Hassell self-portrait on Facebook.
The cops allowed Vincent to call Hassell and let her know he was headed to jail -- bad timing, since she soon realized she was about to give birth. She eventually did so in her motel room's bathtub, after which she severed the umbilical cord with her teeth. When she realized the baby was turning blue, she says she helped revive him with short breaths before calling 911.
Astonishingly, the baby survived this process despite being very premature -- although his longtime prospects are unknown. Hassell, for her part, was put on suicide watch. But Terry, speaking from the jail where he was awaiting extradition to Colorado, remained optimistic about the future of their relationship.
"Of course we're going to stay together," he said, adding that Hassell is "not a bad person. She just got a problem and, together, we'll fight it."
Granted, Terry's got troubles of his own. Here's a look at the couple's booking photos.
More from our Schmuck of the Week archive: "Stephen Redwood busted by feds for pot due to child porn investigation."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.