A Clearwater woman is facing charges after police said she nearly tossed her 3-month-old child into the water.
Lydia Chako, 39, is facing charges of child abuse in connection with the incident, which happened shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday. She is scheduled to make her first appearance before a judge today.
According to reports, the property manager called police when she arrived at Chako's home on Osceola Avenue and noticed the apartment was flooded.
The manager said Chako was inside, throwing things around the apartment and saying she believed there were lizards and snakes on her baby and that she was keeping the demons out, the report said.
Neighbors say they've never noticed her acting strange before.
"I tell you that's the God's honest truth, no I didn't,” said Martisha Kelly. “We're all weird in our ways, you know, but she cherished that baby."
Chako then left the apartment carrying the baby boy by his feet. Responding officers found Chako at the dead end of Palm Bluff, standing on the sea wall. They said she was half-naked and holding the baby.
Police said they distracted her so they could get close enough to grab the baby. Chako was arrested after a short struggle.
"I mean if she had dropped it on the rocks, it would have been disastrous," said Geneva Ware.
Officers said Chako made statements that led them to believe she intended to throw the baby in the water.
"The baby didn't seem to be too upset,” said John Ware. “They were singing to the baby, dancing around the baby and keeping it happy."
No one was injured in the incident.
Child protection investigators took custody of the baby.
Chako was taken to Pinellas County Jail without incident. The sheriff's office says she is being held in a healthcare facility for observation.