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Brave fishermen save baby after mother tosses her in the ocean

By Scott Tuttle     Oct 28, 2014 in Crime
Atlantic City - In a possible murder-suicide attempt, a young woman was seen tossing her month-old baby into the ocean from an Absecon Inlet jetty before jumping in herself. A nearby group of heroic fishermen dove to their rescue.
Patricia Shurig, 23, was reportedly behaving strangely when she passed a group of fishermen at an Atlantic City bay Sunday afternoon.
"We saw the lady walking to the rocks with the baby,” said Jose Matos. “My nephew asked her where she was going with the baby. She didn’t say anything and just kept walking.”
The group continued to watch as she strolled down the boardwalk before they saw her toss the newborn into the water then jump in behind her.
Two of the fishermen, Luis Ortiz and Seth Perkins, quickly reacted by diving into the water to retrieve them.
“I said, ‘I’m gonna go in for you but you can’t panic and don’t try to grab me,” said Ortiz. “That’s it. And I went in after her.”
As Ortiz and Perkins went after the unresponsive Shurig, former Atlantic City firefighter Thomas Bell, who also happened to be at the scene, went in for the baby.
Trained in CPR, Bell was able to resuscitate her.
"I did two mouth-breathes and turned her over and patted her on the back," said Bell. "She spit up a lot of water. Then I just ran down the jetty and gave her to the EMS people."
Shurig and the baby were both taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, Shurig faces aggravated assault and a slew of other possible charges with bail set at $100,000.
Shurig's fiancé Dashai Ahmed Williams Bey told Press of Atlantic City that she suffered from seizures and believes this rather than a murder-suicide attempt might have been the cause of the near-tragic plummet.
Shurig was also facing a recent drug accusation made to a child-welfare agency which Bey claims is false.
"I know for the past couple of days she’s been having seizures and things like that,” said Bey. “I’d say [the drug accusations] stressed her, and I know that she was having seizures, and I think her stress causes her seizures."
Shurig's adoptive mother, Debbie Shurig, offered another possible explanation.
“I believe she has post-partum depression,” she said. “It’s hard, as her mother, to believe that she did this for any other reason. ...I honestly believe she did this in front of people as a cry for help.”
According to police records, Shurig was arrested and booked in the Atlantic County jail last year for charges of probation violation and resisting arrest.
“I would like people not to judge her,” said Debbie Shurig. “They haven’t walked in her shoes, and they don’t know what she was thinking.”
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