Early morning swimmer arrested

Evanston police have charged a woman with three ordinance violations after her late-night swim sparked an overnight search for her as a possible drowning victim.

Police Cmdr. Jason Parrott says that an officer on patrol at the Dempster Street boathouse at 1:24 a.m. saw a swimmer 10 yards off the breakwall swimming out into the deep.

Parrott says the officer called out to the swimmer to return to shore, but the swimmer kept going.

The officer had checked the area and observed clothing left nearby with car keys on the lake shore’s rocks. Officers on scene were able to locate a vehicle nearby that the keys matched.

Police attempted to contact the vehicle's owner without success.

Believing the swimmer was intent on harming herself, police called the Fire Department which launched a search that ultimately involved several agencies, including Coast Guard and Chicago Fire Department helicopters.

About two hours after the search was called off for the night, at about 7:15 a.m., the swimmer appeared back on shore unharmed and was identified as Frances Dupont, 49, of 4029 N. Harding Ave. in Chicago.

She's been charged with being at a closed beach, being in the water after posted hours and disobeying police in a public place.

She's scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 9 a.m. on Sept. 22.

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