Indianapolis News and HeadlinesPublic Safety


Officer saves 2 kids after vehicle goes into retention pond in Lake County

Posted at 7:32 AM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 07:32:11-05

ST. JOHN, Ind. — A Northwest Indiana police officer jumped into a retention pond and pulled two young children from a partially submerged vehicle that had plunged into its murky waters during a pursuit.

St. John Officer Darrell Shaffer spotted the vehicle around 11:25 p.m. Sunday after Lake County police reported it had fled during a traffic stop, said Roger Patz, a St. John police spokesman.

The driver allegedly fled from Shaffer on local roads into Illinois before returning to Indiana on Interstate 94, Patz said.

The female driver lost control of the vehicle, which went airborne, "plunging into the retention pond," Patz said.

Shaffer jumped into the water and could see the driver was still seated in the vehicle, Patz said. Shaffer then noticed a child seat and felt around underwater until he found one child.

"He then felt the leg of a second child and pulled that child above water to safety," Patz said.

Both children are under 5 years old, he said.

The driver, who was not identified by police, was ordered out of the vehicle and taken into custody, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.