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Woman drives into Lake Michigan, fights off officers rescuing her from water-filled car, police say
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Woman drives into Lake Michigan, fights off officers rescuing her from water-filled car, police say

LONG BEACH — After leaving her 10-year-old daughter on a roadside, a woman drove into Lake Michigan, prompting police to perform a quickfire rescue. 

At 7:43 a.m. Friday first responders from the Long Beach Police Department and the LaPorte County Emergency Medical Services responded to Chastleton Drive and Lakeshore Drive, according to the Long Beach Police Department. 

Long Beach Deputy Marshal Tobin Babcock and Chief Marshal Mark Swistek arrived within a minute, finding a 33-year-old woman who had driven off of Lakeshore Drive. 

Join Tristan DeFord, Jami Rieck, and Nancy Zakutanksky on a shift working for Superior Ambulance in Merrillville.

She was inside her Mazda SUV, which was partially submerged in Lake Michigan, which was drifting further out into the lake. 

Babcock and Swistek made their way into the lake to rescue the woman, however she was uncooperative with their efforts, police said. 

She refused to unlock her doors and as the vehicle continued to drift into deeper water, Swistek broke out her passenger side window. Meanwhile, Babcock was on the driver's side talking to the woman. 

While the officers were attempting to rescue her and open the vehicle door, she struggled against the officers, yelling "Let me go," police said. The men continued to work to pull her from the water-filled vehicle. 

Eventually they freed her from the vehicle while she was still forcibly resisting their rescue efforts. 

The woman was released to first responders with the Long Beach Fire Department and EMS staff. Babcock had suffered an injury to his knee during the rescue and he was treated by medical staff. 

Police were then advised that an attempt to locate call had been dispatched by the Porter County Sheriff's Department for a suicidal woman driving a white Mazda SUV. The woman had reportedly abandoned her 10-year-old daughter earlier that morning on a roadside in Porter County, police said. 

Porter County police said that she had made remarks to her daughter about "going to heaven" before she left her. 

The woman is being held at Michigan City Franciscan Health for observation. 

Deputy Nick Korepanow with the Trail Creek Police Department, Long Beach Water Department, Long Beach Street Department and LaPorte County EMS assisted Long Beach police and firefighters.

"We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Woodruff’s and Sons along with Cloverleaf Garage personnel for the recovery of the vehicle from Lake Michigan," Swistek said. "Heavy machinery was needed to drag the vehicle to shore and eventually off the beach this morning."

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts and investigative news. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology. 219-933-4194, anna.ortiz@nwi.com

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