Court papers: Lifeguard missed obvious signs as boy struggled

<p>A lifeguard allegedly did not notice as a 5-year-old boy was flailing his arms and struggling to keep his head above water before almost drowning in a Stamford pool in August, according to an arrest warrant released Tuesday.</p>

News 12 Staff

Sep 19, 2017, 5:02 PM

Updated 2,436 days ago

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A lifeguard allegedly did not notice as a 5-year-old boy was flailing his arms and struggling to keep his head above water before almost drowning in a Stamford pool in August, according to an arrest warrant released Tuesday.
Zachary Stein pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to negligent endangerment.  It is one of the first cases in the country where a lifeguard has been criminally charged after the victim survived.
"He's immensely relieved that this boy is recovering and has survived," said his defense lawyer, Mark Sherman.
Police say the boy, Adam Khattak, was obviously struggling for about a full minute before his head submerged at Chelsea Piers in Stamford.
Police based their account of events on time-stamped surveillance video, which the warrant says shows the boy fighting for his life in the water.
"It did not appear that Stein ever looks in the pool to observe any of the swimmers," the documents say. This happened even though police say the lifeguard made a full walk around the pool.
A few minutes later, the documents continue, "Khattak is just a few feet away, still fully submerged and still motionless, and (the lifeguard) never looks down at him."
Police say there were only 10 children in the pool, but Stein failed to notice Adam for almost four minutes. Police say Stein told them he only thought the child was underwater for five seconds.
The court documents also say one of the boy's friends sat on the edge of the pool and watched him struggle without alerting lifeguards.
Doctors say the boy's recovery was miraculous. He was released from the hospital in just three days.


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