Police: Woman tried to drown child, self after Lakeland crash

- A Winter Haven woman tried to drown a 2-year-old boy and herself after getting into a car crash on Monday, police say. 

According to the Lakeland Police Department, 21-year-old Laquisha Mosley was in the car with the toddler when she got into a car accident. Her car crashed into an embankment off the Memorial Boulevard ramp onto Interstate 4. 

It was a little before daybreak when Anita Whitaker heard the crash. She thought it was on TV, but it was actually coming from the pond behind her home. She went outside, separated the overgrowth and made her way around the outskirts of the pond.

She found the young mom and her 2-year-old son.

"I reached for her and I said, 'Let me help you,' and she went off into the water, deeper," said Whitaker. "I followed her and I said, 'Come on, sweetheart, you need to come out. It's cold here, you need to get out,' and she says, 'No. You're not taking my baby.'"

Whitaker was not the first to offer Mosley help. Witnesses gathered near where the crash happened. They say Moseley grabbed her son, ran down a steep incline, scaled a 5-foot fence with barbed wire on top, and ended up in the pond.

Investigators are trying to figure out if Moseley fell in the water or jumped in, intending to harm her son and herself.

The more Whitaker tried to convince Moseley to head to shore, the further the woman, with her child in tow, would move to deeper water. By the time Whitaker and Moseley were treading water to stay afloat, a second good Samaritan popped up.

"He just came out of nowhere," said Whitaker. "He grabbed her by the arm and he said,  'Get the baby.' I snatched up that baby as fast as I could and swam back to the bank."

Moseley and her son were not harmed. She was arrested and charged with endangering a child.

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