LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Good Samaritans prevented a Winter Haven woman from potentially drowning herself and a two-year-old boy in Lakeland on Monday morning.
Detectives say Laquisha Mosley, 21, and a toddler were in a car that crashed into an embankment near the Memorial Boulevard on-ramp to Interstate-4.
According to witness statements, Mosley had sideswiped another car and then crashed into a barrier.
Witnesses then saw Mosley carry the two-year-old boy, climb a fence and run into a lake.
“I heard people screaming, ‘get that baby, get the baby,’” neighbor Angi Witaker said.
She said the commotion woke her up. “I heard people saying ‘she is going to drown that baby,’ so I jumped up and ran outside.”
Without a second thought, Whitaker jumped into the lake after the woman.
“She was in the water, and I reached for her, and I said, ‘let me help you get out’ and she said ‘you’re not taking my baby’ and went off into the water deeper. I followed her,” Whitaker said. “She would not let go of the child.”
As Whitaker tried to talk Mosley into handing the child over, another Good Samaritan ran to help.
A man grabbed Mosley, while a neighbor grabbed the toddler from the lake.
“He grabbed her by the arm and said, ‘get the baby!’ I snatched the baby as fast as I could and swam back to the bank,” Whitaker said.
Lakeland police then arrived at the scene as the Good Samaritans were trying to get Mosley and the toddler out of the water.
According to a police report, Mosley ignored the officer’s commands and tried to jump back in the water, until he threatened her with a taser. Once in cuffs, the officer said Mosley started to kick and scream.
Mosley was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and child endangerment for not getting the toddler medical treatment.
The toddler was treated at Lakeland Regional Medical Center for a fractured left femur.
Mosley broke down in court Tuesday morning when a judge ordered she not have contact with her son if she posts the $18,000 bond he set.
Mosley and the child had been listed as missing and endangered after a relative reported that they never returned home from a trip to the store on Sunday night.