Cop rescues woman from pond, cites her for OWI

Police officer pulls Saukville resident to safety after she drives into water
Ozaukee Press Staff

A Saukville police officer rescued a woman from her car after she drove it into a retention pond and then promptly arrested her on suspicion of driving while under the influence.

According to a criminal complaint:

At about 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, Saukville Police Officer Brandin Depies saw a car traveling east on the 700 block of W. Dekora Street swerving onto the shoulder.

He began following the car, which turned into a condominium complex parking lot but instead of parking continued through the lot, over a berm and then 10 to 15 feet into a stormwater retention pond.

The car, a Ford Taurus, appeared to begin sinking and the woman driver sat with both of her hands on the steering wheel, appearing to not comprehend what was happening.

Depies got the woman’s attention, asked her if she could swim and then directed her to open the car door, which she was unable to do. She climbed over to the passenger side and couldn’t open that door either.

With the front end of the car sinking faster than the rear end, Depies told the woman, later identified as Ronnie Ciriacks of Saukville, to climb into the back seat, which she did. She was able to open a rear door.

Depies and Sgt. Robert Ramthun, who had just arrived, threw a rope to Ciriacks, who stepped into the chest-high water and made it to shore.

Ciriacks told Depies she was coming from Newburg to pick up her daughter. When asked how much she had to drink that night, Ciriacks said, “not a lot.”

Ciriacks repeatedly tried walking away, had trouble standing up and had glassy eyes and slurred speech.

After failing field sobriety tests, a preliminary breath test showed she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.133, exceeding the 0.08 state limit. Ciriacks also told police she had taken Ambien earlier in the day.

Ciriacks was arrested and taken to the Ozaukee County Jail. She was charged on Aug. 9 with operating while under the influence, second offense, a misdemeanor.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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