Navy Pier

Woman Accused of Pushing 3-Year-Old Into Lake Michigan Near Navy Pier Charged: CPD

A person who watched Navy Pier's surveillance video said the push was clear

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A woman accused of pushing a 3-year-old boy into Lake Michigan near Navy Pier now faces felony charges days after the incident, police said Wednesday.

Victoria Moreno, 34, of Des Plaines, was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child under the age of 13, according to Chicago police.

She is expected to appear in court for a bond hearing Wednesday.

Police said Moreno was arrested just before 2 p.m. Monday in the 700 block of East Grand Ave., where less than an hour earlier she "pushed a 3-year-old male into the water."

"[Moreno] did not attempt to rescue the victim," police said in a release. "The victim was pulled from the water by emergency personnel and transported to an area hospital in critical condition."

It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney.

The charges come after a witnesses told NBC 5 surveillance video showed the child was pushed toward the water "clear as day."

According to the witness, once the video was viewed, a Chicago police officer asked the guardian about the push, and the woman shrugged. When rescuers first arrived, the witness said the woman was initially "crying and playing the part." The witness spoke on a condition of anonymity to discuss matters still under investigation.

Another witness said the guardian was acting unusual as the boy was struggling in the water and did not give clear answers as people tried to rescue him. Officials have not said how the woman is related to the boy.

"She really was not active in any of the rescue help," said Ashton King. "Essentially as soon as we got there, she kind of backed away."

King was walking with a friend on the north side of the pier, and she said her friend heard a splash.

"We kind of sprung into action asking, 'Is this your son?' 'Who is this?'" said King. "[The woman] didn't really give us a clear response at all, which was very bizarre to us."

Chicago police said they received a 911 call around 1 p.m. about a boy in the water. Dive teams were deployed to the area and rescuers pulled the boy out. A witness said the boy was in the water for about 15 minutes. The boy was pulled out in cardiac arrest and was taken to Lurie Children's Hospital in critical condition, according to authorities.

King, a mother of two, said the woman didn't call 911 or ask them to call 911. Other witnesses found a life ring within minutes and threw it in the water, she said.

"By the time we had thrown it in the water, unfortunately the little boy had gone under," said King.

King said she also saw the interaction between police and the guardian after police had viewed Navy Pier's surveillance video.

"Within less than five minutes, [the police] had kind of asked her [about the push] and she just folded," said King.

The north side of Navy Pier is primarily used for parking and deliveries, but there is a walkway for pedestrians along the water. On Monday, Navy Pier released a statement about the rescue, and referred questions about the investigation to the Chicago Police Department.

“Navy Pier is deeply saddened to learn about the injury of a child pulled from the water this afternoon," the statement read. "We are working very closely with the Chicago Police Department as they investigate the incident. Our hearts are with the child and his loved ones.”

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