Woman Baker Acted after trying to jump from Jacksonville overpass with 4-month-old

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said officers and construction workers helped to save a woman and a 4-month-old child from the side of a highway guardrail near the Main Street bridge with a 50-foot drop below.

According to a Facebook post from JSO, Officer Samantha Decker was responding to reports of a disabled vehicle on Interstate 95 North just before the Main Street Bridge around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A construction worker alerted Decker that a woman, identified in a JSO arrest report as 24-year-old Laney Waindle of Palm Coast, was holding a baby and standing on the other side of the guardrail about 200 yards north of the disabled vehicle.

"He stated it appeared the woman was trying to harm herself or the baby," the Facebook post said.

The construction worker told Decker that a nearby abandoned vehicle belonged to Waindle's boyfriend "and she wanted them to take the baby and leave," according to the JSO arrest report.

Decker requested more JSO units to help find Waindle. Before officers found her, construction workers tried to pull the woman over the guardrail. They were able to grab the baby from her, JSO said.


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Officer Daniel Gaynor found Waindle, who would not communicate with or acknowledge Officer Gaynor, the Facebook post said. Waindle was standing on a 3-foot wide concrete slab on the other side of a concrete barricade and looking down, according to the police report.

Officer Gaynor decided to pull her over the guardrail and to safety before she jumped.

Waindle told Gaynor "that she wanted to jump because she thought it would provide a better life for her child," according to the JSO report.

According to the arrest report, Waindle admitted to police that after she took the baby to the doctor, she bought a bottle of liquor and drove around with the baby. She had a "strong smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath" and was "unsteady on her feet," the JSO arrest report detailed. 

Waindle was arrested on a charge of child neglect and Baker Acted.

JSO was able to make contact with Waindle's boyfriend, who had been driving on I-95 North looking for her because Waindle had called him and said she had a flat tire, according to the report. The Florida Department of Children and Families responded to the scene and determined that Waindle's boyfriend was able to take custody of the baby.

DCF confirmed they are investigating the incident.

<div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleSheriffsOffice/posts/10153326949617896" data-width="300"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleSheriffsOffice/posts/10153326949617896:0"><p>Great job Officer Decker and Officer Gaynor and the construction workers involved who helped save a four month old...</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleSheriffsOffice/">Jacksonville Sheriff&#039;s Office</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleSheriffsOffice/posts/10153326949617896:0">Wednesday, December 30, 2015</a></blockquote></div></div>

 


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