Atlantic City woman Patricia Shurig will face charges after she allegedly threw her 1-month-old daughter into a bay and then jumped into the water.
The incident was reported to Atlantic City Police around 5 p.m. on Sunday after a group of fishermen spotted Shurig, who they said was acting unusual, near the inlet at Pacific Avenue.
"We saw the lady walking to the rocks with the baby," Jose Matos, a witness, said. "So my nephew asked her where she was going with the baby. She didn't say anything and just kept walking."
When Shurig, 24, jumped in with her daughter, fishermen Luis Ortiz and Seth Perkins followed and managed to rescue both.
"I said, 'I'm gonna go in for you but you can't panic and don't try to grab me,'" Ortiz said. "That's it. And I went in after her."
Ortiz added that he couldn’t understand what was going through Shurig's mind when she put herself and her daughter in danger.
Thomas Bell, a retired Atlantic City firefighter, happened to be in the area as Ortiz pulled Shurig and her child out of the water. Shurig apparently handed the child to Bell, who performed CPR and was able to revive the unresponsive infant. Following his work, Bell handed the baby over to emergency responders.
Both Shurig and her daughter were taken to AtlantiCare, though officials have not yet revealed their conditions.
Despite charges against Shurig, her family has argued that the event on Sunday afternoon was an accident. Instead, Shurig’s mother Debbie insisted that her daughter had suffered a seizure. According to Mrs. Shurig, Shurig is normally a loving and attentive mother.
Shurig will be charged with aggravated assault and is being held on $100,000 bail. Additional charges against her are pending.