A New Jersey mother was arrested after she allegedly drove while drunk with her young daughter inside her car. Police told NBC10 the girl could have been hurt if not for the efforts of a local firefighter.
Rachel Lamanno, 26, of Red Bank, New Jersey was spotted by several witnesses driving erratically through several towns the afternoon of Christmas Day, according to investigators. Lamanno’s 3-year-old daughter was inside the car at the time, police said.
“Running cars off the road and almost causing accidents,” said Barnegat Township Police Lieutenant Keith Germain.
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Lamanno eventually ended up on Route 72 East in Barnegat Township where she was spotted by Richard Warren Jr., of Howell, New Jersey.
“A bystander had basically flagged her down and gotten her to stop her vehicle,” Germain said.
Warren, a West Long Branch firefighter, told NBC10 he approached Lamanno’s car on the side of the road then intervened when she tried to drive off.
“The window was down,” Warren said. “I reached my hand in, put it into park and released the keys and grabbed and held the keys. She asked me why I was doing that.
Warren kept Lamanno there until officers arrived at the scene.
“We always caution people about the dangers of getting involved in a case like that but certainly when you have someone who’s repeatedly coming so close to causing accidents, it’s certainly a courageous thing to do,” Germain said.
Lamanno was arrested and charged with several offenses, including endangering the welfare of a child.
“I don’t think there’s anything that can be more concerning than risking the life of a child,” Germain said.
Lamanno remains in jail on $20,000 bail. Her daughter was placed into the care of a family member. State child welfare authorities were also notified.