A Southwest Florida woman who took a dip off a pier Monday morning while leaving her kid in the car ended up behind bars, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.
A police report says that deputies responded to Captain Con’s Fish House restaurant in Bokeelia, on the northern tip of Pine Island, at 10:35 a.m. The call involved an unattended child.
The witness reported seeing a woman park her 2007 Silver Honda Pilot near the pier, “turn the radio up all the way,” then jump into the bay.
The witness said at first he did not notice that there was a child in the vehicle and watched as the woman swam around for about 20 minutes. When he did check her car, he noticed the engine and air conditionmer were running, and a small child was crawling around inside, so he called 911.
While on the phone with the emergency operator, the witness saw the woman begin to make her way even farther away from land. The deputy noted that he needed binoculars to spot the woman.
Another witness reported that fishermen in boats were warning her about dangers in the water, such as fishing hooks as well as possible sharks.
The suspect reportedly yelled back at them that she didn’t care, because she “wanted to get hooked” and “would want to meet sharks,” the witness said, according to the report.
Fire and paramedic crews soon arrived to check on the child, who did not appear to be in any distress. The Boca Grande Marine Unit made contact with the woman and brought her aboard their vessel. Once ashore, the woman, 41, admitted to leaving her child in the car but thought it was “OK” because the A/C was on.
The mother was charged with child neglect. She was taken to the Lee County Jail on $500 bond.
The uninjured child was turned over to the father.