Angler, police save woman from drowning

Youngstown resident’s canoe flipped over in Mahoning River on Sunday

WARREN — When Jacob and John Fowler III went fishing on Sunday, all the brothers looked forward to was an easy afternoon in the sun and enjoying one another’s company.

As it turned out, they became involved in the water rescue of a 41-year-old woman whose canoe flipped over about 5:37 p.m. in the waterfall under the Summit Street bridge.

Lisa M. Zitello, 281 S. Edgehill Ave., Youngstown, was canoeing on the Mahoning River when its current took control, causing the canoe to go over the dam, down 10 feet and flip.

The Fowler brothers had just arrived on Summit Street when they saw a crowd near the dam area, where they normally fish — and were told about a woman going under.

When they went down near the water, Jacob, 24, said he saw the woman flailing near a wall, her body being thrown around by the falls, being battered against rocks by the force of the water.

“‘God, please allow me to get to her out of the water,'” Jacob said to himself. “I took off my fishing waders and went into the water toward her. I yelled to my brother to go back and get a rope.”

By the time Jacob reached Zitello, she was face down in the water. Jacob reached under her body and flipped her, so her head was above water.

“She was completely unconscious,” Jacob said. “I could not tell if she was breathing. The current was really strong. My brother would not have been able to throw the rope to us.

“Luckily I saw officers on the other side,” he said.

Jacob began swimming on his side, keeping Zitello’s head above the water and allowing the current to carry them them toward the police officers.

Warren officer Donald Shipman removed his vest and duty


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