Evanston police early this morning rescued two swimmers in distress off Lee Street beach.

Police say officers arriving at the beach just before midnight heard two people in the water screaming for help near the breakwater.

Although they initially couldn’t see the victims, the officers, carrying rescue disks, entered the water to look for them.

The officers said that about 50 yards off shore, they found a male swimmer being battered against the metal breakwater by large waves.

They managed to pass one of the rescue disks to him and pulled him to shore.

Meanwhile additional officers had arrived on the scene and were able to locate the second victim, a woman, about 100 yards off shore, who was having trouble staying afloat. Using another rescue disk, they managed to pull her back to shore.

The swimmers, identified as Jeffrey Greenberg of West Dundee and Heather Sue Muffett of Hammond, Ind., were given first aid treatment by Evanston paramedics. They were charged with city ordinance violations for swimming on a closed beach.

Police identified the officers involved in the rescue as Mikhail Geyer, Jeffrey Faison, Matthew George and Enjoli Daley. Officer Geyer was treated and released at a local hospital after swallowing a large amount of water during the rescue effort.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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13 Comments

  1. Glad…and glad
    Glad that they were rescued.

    Glad that they were ticketed, too. They took a huge risk and almost paid with their lives. They put the police officers in harm’s way as well.

    I hope that the ticket includes a large fine. For non-Evanston residents who choose to swim on the City of Evanston beaches when they are closed, the fine should be doubled as they don’t pay any taxes here.

  2. More mindless nativism
    “Anonymous” wrote:

    ” For non-Evanston residents who choose to swim on the City of Evanston beaches when they are closed, the fine should be doubled as they don’t pay any taxes here.”

    The penalty for breaking the law should not depend on where somebody lives. Laws should be enforced , and punishments should be applied , equally.

    Paying taxes in this city does not entitle anyone to a lesser punishment when they break a law – and by advocating harsher punishments for non-residents, you are in effect advocating lighter punishments for residents.

    If anything, residents of this city should be punished more strictly, because they should be more familiar with the rules.

    Mr. Who Knows is tired of fighting the forces of intolerance, nativism and NIMBYism.

    See Amendment XIV, Section 1 of the Constitution:

    “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ”

    1. What in tarnation is nativism??
      At first I thought it was kind of early to start talking about some nativity set being displayed at the Fountain Square but I had my doubts about what in tarnation is this person talking about…nativism. There are plenty of isms’ out there, far more than I care to enunciate. but what is this nativism. Is it a good thing or a bad thing depending on what side of the ism you are standing on. So like any good “letter to the editor writer” I looked it up on Google. (I do have my own dictionary.) Basically, it means taking care of the natives on ones land as opposed to including foreigners. And how did we get to this topic in the while of talking about two people who almost drowned? Maybe the police should have asked them for IDs before sending out the frisbee that ultimately saved their lives. Then they could have looked up their nativistic standing to determine how much help to lend them. It is understood that in crook county we have the highest gas prices, the highest sales taxes and what, you’re in the north shore, oh you got to pay more for rescue services and then we will fine you double.

      1. Nativism explained
        It’s really not a complex topic. Nativism = people who are territorial about their home town or state, and view anyone who doesn’t permanently reside there (or in some cases people who have just recently moved there) as a nuisance and/or burden. While I’ve not noticed this phenomenon in Evanston much, it is quite common in many vacation and resort areas. Go drive up to Wisconsin some weekend and ask a few local residents how they feel about folks from Chicago visiting their towns if you want a good example of this.
        The comment that these swimmers needed to pay extra fines because they aren’t Evanston residents is a good example of “nativism”, and how the topic came up in the first place.

        1. Nativism, I think I got It.
          I just read where in the deep south this company canned Labor Day as a national holiday and replaced it with a muslim holiday that concludes Ramadan. This would be the reverse of nativism and ya know we’re not that far from having a muslim president. Not Obama mind you, he states he is a Christian. Wait til after 8 years and several more American atheletes start playing for Russia (and she had the gall to put her hand over her heart for the playing of the National Anthem.)

          1. No, you just don’t get it.
            Thanks to Evanston RLA for a good explanation.

            Now Mr. Thomson brings up the issue of the factory that substituted Eid for Labor Day. What is wrong with that? I know that there are many public schools ( I attended one) where Rosh Hashanah is a vacation day, because there are many Jewish teachers and they negotiated a day off in their contract. There are other public schools and private workforces where Good Friday is a day off. If that is the schedule that is most desirable for the students and/or teachers, where is the harm? [ Just keep your religion out of the curriculum , especially biology, and no organized prayer in school, thanks.] At my current job, we celebrate ‘Columbus Day’ on the day after Thanksgiving. I like it.

            Now this factory has many Muslim workers. They want to observe Eid with their families. Who is being harmed? { And really, I think that the best way to defeat the bin-Ladens of the world is to create a large and vocal pro-American Muslim community }

            Again, Mr. Who Knows says: If people are willing to obey the law and mind their own business and take care of themselves, then they are welcome in this country and in this city. There is plenty of room for more people – both in the country as a whole, and in Evanston.

            Now to those of you who do not obey the law ( such as those vicious thugs who beat up the ice cream man), and do not mind your own business ( NIMBY’s) and are always asking for handouts ( General Dawes group) : I don’t care if you were born here, please just go away.

          2. “Again, Mr. Who Knows says: If people are willing to”
            I am always left wondering about someone who talks about themselves in the third person. Its fine with me that you are someone “Who Knows”. I’m a little more comfortable that you are not making the rules and speaking for all of America.

    2. Who – the city practices Nativism all the time.
      Who the city uses Nativism all the time- there are non-resident fees here for many things – beach usage for one. Recreation programs. I even think stickers etc. Non-residents have limits on library books I believe. Also all their hand out programs require you to be a resident.

      Maybe you should go to the council and voice your concern?

      1. Fees vs. Fines
        No, Junad, charging non-residents fees for actual services is entirely fair. It is not a punitive measure against non-residents, and participating in these activities is entirely optional – nobody is required to take out a library book or use the beach, and the money collected is used to support the library or beach.

        On the other hand, fining non-residents more for committing crimes is different. The money paid by lawbreakers are not ‘fees’ that are meant to pay for police services – they are ‘fines’, meant as punishment or deterrent, and they are not optional.

        These must be applied equally.

  3. Wrong Date, Approx. 20 sirens on scene, very loud screams
    This story is off by a day, probably because of the blogging software evanston now uses and the fact that the police report didn’t happen until Monday. The incident at Lee Street happened on Saturday night just before midnight Sunday.

    A large group of thirty to forty bystanders was attracted by screaming at Lee Street Beach on Saturday night around 11:30 PM. One witness said that “he could hear the screaming all the way from Forest Ave.” which is approximately three blocks inland. There were between 15 and 20 official vehicles including Fire, Police, and Ambulances. First responders were not discussing the details of the event with any bystanders, but it was clear that officer Geyer was in some distress after emerging from the water.

    1. About the date
      Thanks for mentioning that, Tim. But it’s not a software problem.

      The date of the incident was wrong in the police department news release, which begins “On 8-3-08, at approximately 11:57 p.m. Evanston Police Officers responded to Lee Street beach, …”

      Bill

  4. In Arizona if someone
    In Arizona if someone disregards the “Road Closed” signs and drives into a flooded wash and needs to be rescued, by law the “victim” has to reimburse the city/county for the costs associated with their rescue. Offhand I see nothing wrong with making people who do stupid/illegal things responsible for paying the costs associated with saving their lives. The taxpayers certainly shouldn’t have to pay for their stupidity.

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