SEYMOUR -- Police wrestled an 8-day-old baby from its mother after she attempted to strangle the infant while ranting about Jesus and Satan, according to police.

The mother, Ashley Donovan, 23, of Manners Avenue, was arrested July 15 and taken to Griffin Hospital in Derby for a psychiatric evaluation, according to Lt. Paul Satkowski, police spokesman.

Donovan was charged with strangulation in the second degree, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, risk of injury to a minor, breach of peace and interfering with an officer.

Two Seymour police officers responded to the scene on Rimmon Hill Road, on the Seymour/Beacon Falls line, at about 6 p.m.

When officers arrived, Donovan began to walk away with the baby, squeezing it and holding it very tightly, Satkowski said. Then, she became "belligerent and irrational" and started ranting about "Jesus, Satan and the devil," he said.

"It was very extreme, irrational behavior," he added.

"The officers -- Sgt. David Paratt and Officer James Duda -- tried to reason with her, but she began to literally choke the baby," he said. At that time, the officers were faced with a "deadly-force situation," he added.

The officers didn't draw their weapons or use a stun gun to subdue the woman because she was holding the infant, police said. Instead, police opted to "wrestle the baby away," he said, and overcame the woman.

"Their options were very limited," Satkowski said. "If they didn't do something in a timely fashion, the outcome would have been a lot different."

The baby was "turning blue," but after being taken from the mother, the baby's color returned to normal, he said.

The baby, who had some minor bruising from the incident, was taken to the hospital for evaluation and later turned over to its biological father. The state Department of Children and Families was also called, he said.

Donovan was taken to Griffin Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. She was arrested by State Police at Troop I in Bethany and arraigned at the hospital. Another person involved in the dispute, who also lives on Manners Avenue, was not charged in the incident.

Satkowski said he didn't know the baby's gender. The state police arrest report refers to the infant only as a "juvenile."; 203-330-6496;