Angelina Lopresti is a 20-year-old mom of two from Daytona Beach, Florida, who went out drinking late Monday night, then made the mistake of getting behind the wheel of her car, police say. She is lucky to be alive today after she plunged her vehicle into the Halifax Marina, only to be pulled to safety by a witness.
The young mom’s car drove into the water at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Police immediately received numerous emergency calls from witnesses who saw the frightening accident.
But when police arrived, Lopresti was still in a panic, screaming that her two young sons were trapped in the back seat of the car — and they had stopped breathing.
“They’re in the car. They’re not breathing,” Lopresti could be heard saying in video captured by one officer’s body camera. “Please, those are my kids, those are my kids.”
Heroically, three police officers and a police detective along with two firefighters risked their own lives, leaping into the water to do whatever they could to save the two children. But when they reached the submerged car, they got a confusing surprise.
The car was empty. There were no children the back seat. And as it turned out, there never were.
“We had four police officers and two firefighters that jumped into the water, discovered that no one was in the vehicle,” said an irritated Daytona Beach Police spokesperson Jimmie Flynt.
So what happened? Where were the children?
The answer was — they never left home. Angelina Lopresto left the two boys, ages 3 and 5, there when she went out to get drunk. In fact, she left them home alone. That’s what police found when they searched her apartment, which was only about three miles away from where the young mom drove her car into the water.
“(Officers were) able to make entry to the apartment, and the two kids were there asleep alone. They were ages 3 and 5,” Flynt said.
Police later reported that Lopresti, who at just 20 is below the legal drinking age of 21, told them that she was “f*****g drunk.” The arrest report also said that she was highly belligerent with officers and smelled strongly of alcohol. She did not appear to know exactly where she was or what was going on around her, the report said.
The case follows two other incidents of drunken moms earlier this year. In May, an Oklahoma woman reportedly fought with a bar manager who tried to take her car keys away after the woman, Catherine Durham, left her child in the car alone while she drank herself into intoxication inside the bar.
In February, Pennsylvania mom Heather Young was arrested and charged with driving drunk with her young son in the car as she drove to a sex orgy, to which she also took her child, according to reports.
Angelina Lopresti was released Tuesday on $2,000 bond after being charged with child neglect. The two children were placed with their grandparents.
[Images: Daytona Beach Police]