Hopewell police say woman attempted to drown child in river

Hopewell Police say woman attempted to drown child in river

HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - Hopewell police say a woman attempted to drown a child under the age of one in the Appomattox River Monday morning.

“Firetruck, ambulance, police, detectives. It was a lot of people out here,” Bob Gill recalled. He lives directly across from the heroic rescue. “Right in front of my front door.”

Gill looked from his front yard as Hopewell police and fire crews took to the Appomattox River. They came out with a little boy.

“I just saw him pass off the child at the top of the hill. That’s a steep hill,” Gill said.

It was just after 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 11, on Riverside Drive. Authorities got a tip a woman was in the freezing cold water with a little child. First responders had to resuscitate the child before they could transport him to the hospital.

Police are classifying this as a criminal investigation, so charges may be on the way.

“We were able to give a child that second chance of life. It could’ve been taken away here today,” Lt. Mike Langford said. He adds that authorities found the woman away from the child. She had ventured off, about a hundred yards further into the water. “To have someone in the water is not a normal circumstance at all.”

“I’ve lived in the river my whole life. Are you kidding me? That’s cold,” Gill added.

Which may have played a role in life or death in this case. That’s if you ask Craig Gilkson, who served with the U.S. Coast Guard. He says when the water is cold, “Blood circulation stays in your core and near your heart which keeps you from dying. So the cold water can keep you alive longer if you can get out.”

Fortunately, they did as neighbors watched in disbelief.

“The detective brought them up the path and sat on the stairs [with his] hands in his head so you know it was emotionally draining,” Gill recalled.

The incident remains under investigation and police are asking anyone with information to call the Hopewell Prince George Crimesolvers hotline in Hopewell at 804-541-2202.

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