MT. CLEMENS, Mich. -- A Virginia mother was arraigned on Monday on a child abuse charge after the woman, who was drunk, and her 22-month-old child were pulled from the Clinton River in downtown Mt. Clemens.
Yvette Branch, 43, was charged with one count of second-degree child abuse, which is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
Police said they suspect Branch was walking along the river with her toddler, who was in a stroller, when she lost her balance and fell in.
A German exchange student told police he saw commotion by the gazebo at about 5:30 p.m. Monday and realized the woman and the stroller carrying the baby fell in.
Nicolas Eckhoff jumped in the frigid waters and pulled the child from the stroller and out of the water. Eckhoff was with a Mt. Clemens woman who laid down on the wall to reach for the mother.
The toddler was treated at Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center, and then turned over to the county's child protective services for foster care placement, said police.
Preliminary breath tests revealed Branch had a blood-alcohol level of 0.28% -- more than three times the drunken driving limit in Michigan of .08.
Police said they were not sure where the woman was drinking prior to going to the riverbank with her child. But her story did not seem to match, said police.
Branch is being lodged at the Macomb County Jail on a $7,500 bond.