GALVESTON — A Galveston woman accused of driving a car with her infant son inside into Offatts Bayou on Monday has been charged with attempted capital murder, police said.

Investigators allege Latonya Kirven, 30, tried to drown the 6-month-old boy after driving her car into the water near the boat ramp at Washington Park, Galveston police Sgt. Joshua Schirard said.

The infant was rescued by several anglers fishing on the piers nearby and appears to have been unharmed, police said.

Police allege that shortly before Kirven drove her vehicle into the bayou, she ran over a 75-year-old man in the 500 block of 42nd Street after arguing with him.

The man, who has not been identified, remained in critical condition Wednesday at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Schirard said.

Kirven has also been charged with one count of driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle, and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

She remained jailed Wednesday on bonds totaling $410,000.

Police allege Kirven drove her car into a parked vehicle in the 500 block of 42nd Street at about 5 p.m. Monday. Witnesses told police a man came out of the residence where the car was parked and began arguing with Kirven before she struck him with her vehicle, Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto said.

Porretto said Kirven and the man may have known each other.

Police contend Kirven then drove her vehicle to Washington Park, in the 1600 block of 61st Street.

Tyler Arcizo, 19, of Houston, was at the park fishing with several friends when Kirven’s car drove into the bayou.

One of the fishermen who police credited with “heroically” acting to rescue Kirven’s son recorded a video that shows the car, a silver Pontiac, beginning to sink. Voices can be heard urging the woman to get out of the vehicle.

The video later shows the woman swimming after the car has been submerged.

Arcizo said he jumped in the water to try and help the infant and his mother.

He grabbed the baby and handed the infant to other anglers on the dock, but Arcizo said the woman resisted any help.

Kirven then swam away from the pier and removed her clothes, Arcizo said.

She was nude and appeared to be severely intoxicated when officers arrived and pulled her from the water, Porretto said.

She was transported to the medical branch and treated for minor injuries before being booked into the Galveston County Jail early Tuesday, police said. Officials also took a blood sample, Porretto said.

Kirven has previous convictions for possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, according to court records.

A police investigation remains open, Schirard said.


Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or

(9) comments

Terry Moore

Nut case!


This is sad, sad for the baby and the person that was hit by a car. Now I think she will have plenty of time to think about her actions.

Glad the baby was safe, I hope and pray for a speedy recovery for the elderly man.


George Croix

It will be interesting to see what person(s), or what part of society, or what astrological sign gets blamed for all this...

Dwight Burns

More money needs to be spent on Mental Health not only in Texas but all over America.

There hasn't been enough information on the background of this woman for comment as to her mental state. It saddens me when I see one segment of society get the benefit of doubt whereas the other segment of society is judged by public opinion to be guilty before all the facts come out.

Carlos Ponce

"Police say Kirven was allegedly drunk when she ran over a man before then drove her car into the water. Kirven also faces DWI and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges in connection the incident. "
Still it is possible that her mental health led her to imbibe. Too early and not enough information to make a judgement. Much too early to tie this case to the amount of money spent on mental health in America. Temperance League, perhaps?

George Croix

Maybe it's just me, but running over an elderly man, then fleeing the scene and ending up driving self and baby off the road and into the water with the intent of killing self and baby, then fights against the rescuers, IS background enough to comment as to the woman's mental state...nutty as a fruitcake would be the diagnosis in most parts of East Texas. Whether naturally, chemically, or a combination of the two, or other, she acted nutty. Can her background, no matter what it is, be an excuse for what she did?
Well, it can be made to be so, but then that's a large part of the problem's hard to fight mental illness if we make allowances for it.

What 'segments' of society are you referring to?

Steve Fouga

"It saddens me when I see one segment of society get the benefit of doubt whereas the other segment of society is judged by public opinion to be guilty"

drumb, people saw her run over a person and then purposely drive her car into the water, endangering herself and a child. So there's no doubt she did these things. We have no idea WHY she did them, but drugs and/or alcohol seem to have contributed. I'd be surprised if ANY segment of society would get the benefit of the doubt under these circumstances, on these forums.

I hope she can bring her demons under control in either a mental institution or a correctional institution, depending on what the public decides. Some expert spiritual advice is certainly warranted, as she seems to lack moral judgment. Religion can work wonders for lost souls like hers.

Kevin Lang

I don't think anyone knows anything about her "normal" mental state--I mean the mental state when she isn't intoxicated. However, it seems impossible to believe that these were the actions of someone totally in control of her faculties. On the other hand, maybe I don't know enough people so that I could rationally exclude this behavior from the set of rational activities.

The only segment of society that I can readily place her into is "Women with children". However, if, instead, this were a green Martian man without children doing this, I like to think I'd still think that it was crazy behavior. A purple Liliputian, too.

I can be pursuaded, however, if it comes to light that someone injected her with a mind-altering substance during the course of a quarrel, and she hallucinated through the whole ordeal.

My first impression on this, I think, is the same as if this were Dan Patrick, Michelle Obama, Ann Romney, Bill Gates, or Mother Theresa.

Lars Faltskog

And kevijlang had to go and mention that Dan Patrick again. Ugh.

Now, I take challenge to anyone who would say that "we can't tell" that this woman was and has been totally off her rocker. The alleged drugs or meds she was on very likely exacerbated an already existing sad form of existence.

There are those who simply are born into an environment where eventually growing up and becoming a good citizen will be a "long shot". There is a whole culture out there who never learned that with 12 free years of grade school and high school that there is an opportunity to make something of oneself. Instead, they choose a life of conflict, pre-marital sex, and with the only thing to look forward to is having a child (or several children). Then, they realize that the children won't make them happy.

How do we counter this "culture" we have in society? I propose that by the time our children reach, let's say, 12 (6th grade), a determination be made as to whether they will go on the higher education trek. That is, those who are meeting minimum school standards that qualify them to move up their grades can continue into middle and high school. The other kids will have a committee present to their parent(s)/guardian a choice: To go to a Co-Op where child is trained in basic work (EX: counting toothpicks and place in packages). Parent moves into Co-Op with child and if parent still is working, then parent contributes to the upkeep of the Co-Op. With the Co-Op option, we take away many of our societal ills off the street, and there's a Co-Op family to watch over (and likely prevent) people like this mom from eventually careening toward a topographical water feature, aiming at an elderly gentleman, with an accompanying small child.

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