Waitress almost drowns after being dragged in lake by dine-and-dashers (2024)

A waitress almost drowned after being dragged into a lake by a group of rowdy dine--and-dashers.

Liahna Bertels, 20, was forced to swim her way out of the Missouri lake as a result, crying and traumatized by the encounter. It took a total of ten minutes to get back on land, she said.

It happened Friday, after the party of seven enjoyed a sprawling spread served up by the waitressat the Fish and Company Restaurant in Camdenton.

But as they left, the group purposely left their bill behind,apparently peeved that one wasn't able to place a drink order.

This spurred the single mother to give chase,down the restaurant's front-facing dock. Upon reaching the thieves' lavish boat, she was dragged into the lake. The group got away, but one of the party is now apparently cooperating with cops.

Liahna Bertels, 20, was forced to swim her way out of the Missouri lake, crying and traumatized by encounter.

It happened Friday, after the party of seven enjoyed a sprawling spread served up by the waitress at the Fish and Company Restaurant in Camdenton

'[When] I hit the water they decided to start laughing and cheering which really hurt,' Bertels told KY3.

'And I was just like crying and bawling in the water and I didn’t know what to do.'

Eventually, the mom-of-one was able to hoist herself out, as a security camera captured the group not only leaving the premises, but sitting at their al fresco table while the waitress tended to their every whim.

As of writing, none have been named by The Camden County Sheriff’s Office - though one among them has since contacted the department amid their investigation.

The man has been pictured but not identified. Cops aired some insight as to his involvement in the case - revealing that despite him being sought as a member of the pontoon boat's party, he was not a suspect.

'The subject in the photo has contacted our office and is cooperating with our investigation. At this time we do not believe him to be a suspect in this case.

'The investigation continues as deputies and detectives are following up on leads,' the Tuesday statement read.

The still shows another woman being sought as a member of the party, who as of writing, remains at large.

But as they left, the group purposely left their bill behind, apparently peeved that one wasn't able to place a drink order

This spurred the single mother to give chase, down the restaurant's front-facing dock

Upon reaching the thieves' lavish boat, she was dragged into the lake. She was eventually able to hoist herself out, but the group got away

One of the party - the man seen at left - is now apparently cooperating with cops, who say that he is not believed to be a suspect. The woman to his right was also being sought, but has yet to be located as of Thursday, cops said

Surveillance video shows how the group left the restaurant via the dock, with some of them even dancing.

As they traipsed down to their boat, Bertels - who has a three year old at home - is seen rushing to catch up.

Once she did, she reminded them they didn’t pay - after which they grabbed her wrist, pulled her into the water, and sped off, she said.

The clip does not show this as they were too far away, but after about ten minutes, a sopping wetBertels is seen slowly walking back to safety.

She has since said the incident was sparked when she refused to serve a drink to one of the women because she did not have proper identification, spurring some anger before they ordered their food.

Within a half hour, they placed their food orders - apparently with plans not to pay.

'We’ve kind of got it now to where if you’re going to chase somebody down, let somebody know you’re going down there, take somebody with you,' Fish and Company General Manager Sean Dolven said of changes they've made since the incident, which is still under investigation.

'We’ve kind of got it now to where if you’re going to chase somebody down, let somebody know you’re going down there, take somebody with you,' Fish and Company General Manager Sean Dolven - seen at right with Bertels - said of changes they've made since the incident

Bertels said she was left in tears by the incident, after being forced to tread water for more than ten minutes

Cops, meanwhile, are treating it as a misdemeanor assault case, despite the dangers the single mom may have faced. Pictured, the restaurant and dock where the altercation occurred

They have aired the belief that the suspects are from out of state, but are still searching for more leads.Bertels is seen here at left with a friend

This was all for a bill that was about $150, both staffers said, as the local sheriff’s office said they have had difficulty making out some of the faces in the videos.

As for the two seemingly identified, one is still being sought, and the other is believed to have not been one of those to pull the server in.

Cops, meanwhile, are treating it as a misdemeanor assault case, despite the dangers the single mom may have faced.

They have aired the belief that the suspects are from out of state, but are still searching for more leads.

Waitress almost drowns after being dragged in lake by dine-and-dashers (2024)
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