MIAMI – Miami police rescued a woman Thursday morning who they said got naked and jumped into the water with her 3-year-old nephew to avoid being arrested in the city’s Brickell neighborhood.
Police said they were initially called to the 400 block of Brickell Avenue at around 8:30 a.m. after receiving a report of a vandalized flood light on the Baywalk.
Authorities said they encountered Nataliia Marina, 27, her sister and her sister’s son.
Police said the three jumped down a sea wall in an attempt to escape officers, but said Marina took the escape attempt to another level, stripping nude and jumping in the water with her nephew as an officer tried to chase them.
“It’s just disturbing, you see this child which entrusts his aunt to take care of him,” Miami police Capt. Freddie Cruz said. “She actually threw him in the water with her.”
They said Marina swam across the bay towards Brickell Key, where marine patrol officers pulled her and her nephew from the water.
“We have officers that are specially trained -- crisis intervention team officers that are trained,” Cruz said. “She was evaluated. And I guess the determination was that she was in a normal state of mind, that she was OK to face charges.”
Video of the incident, originally posted by Only in Dade, shows portions of the rescue.
“In the video, you see the child crying,” Cruz said. “There’s nothing normal about this.”
Marina, a Ukrainian national who lives on the streets of Miami, faces charges of child abuse causing no great bodily harm, a felony, and misdemeanor criminal mischief, along with a citation for resisting arrest.
According to her arrest report, 14 flood lights were destroyed in all and all had been functioning earlier in the morning.
Police said authorities placed the boy into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Editor’s note: The original version of this article incorrectly identified Marina as a British national, based on a misinterpretation of her arrest report. Police said she is a citizen of Ukraine rather than the United Kingdom.