A drunken Glen Rock woman nearly got herself killed -- and put her young child and eight firefighters in danger -- when she jumped in rising water to "save" a group of wild ducks, according to police.

Justina Lyn Laniewski, 41, of 3 Hanover St., is free on $5,000 unsecured bail, charged with risking a catastrophe, reckless endangerment, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

"What she did put emergency personnel in danger," Southern Regional Police Sgt. Darryl Smuck said.

According to Smuck, Laniewski jumped into the Codorus Creek about 6:30 p.m. Monday to try to "save" the 20 or 30 wild ducks that live there.

She left her 4-year-old daughter on the bank of the creek, police said.

"The child started to follow her mother into the water," Smuck said, but an alert neighbor was able to stop the child before she was swept away.

Lucky: Laniewski also got lucky a second time, according to Smuck. She jumped into the raging waters very near Glen Rock's fire station.

The neighbor who kept Laniewski's daughter from wading into the water then ran to the station and banged on the door, asking for help, police said.

Laniewski was up to her neck in fast-moving water, but one firefighter was able to grab her wrist and hang on, the sergeant said.

Other firefighters were able to hang onto the fireman holding onto Laniewski, so he wouldn't be swept away, Smuck said.


In all, eight firefighters had to wade into the creek, which was nearly at flood stage, to rescue Laniewski, according to charging documents.

After crews pulled her from the water she was checked out by an ambulance crew, police said.

Alcohol test: An alcohol breath test at the scene showed Laniewski's blood-alcohol level to be more than 0.2 percent, according to Smuck. In Pennsylvania, an adult is driving drunk at 0.08 percent.

She told police at the scene she merely slipped and fell by the water's edge, according to charging documents, but police said that's not true.

Glen Rock Mayor Ron McCullough, who's also assistant fire chief at Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Co., said the roiling waters nearly killed Laniewski.

"But the storm also saved her life," he said. That's because firefighters were close by.

If Hurricane Sandy hadn't been raging, the fire station would not have been manned, McCullough said.

-- Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com. Staff writer Christina Kauffman contributed to this report.