A Florida man tried drowning a toddler in a swimming pool, police officials said.
Wilkens Ordena, 29, threw the toddler into a pool at an apartment complex in Orange County on March 4.
A relative jumped into the pool to try to help the child but Ordena also hopped in and put the child in a scissor hold underwater, apparently trying to drown the toddler.
The relative was able to rip the child away from Ordena and pass him to a couple that rushed over to help.
— Sarahbeth Ackerman (@SAckermanWFTV) March 5, 2019
“The person that was giving me the child was very urgent about getting the baby away from that area,” the woman who was handed the baby told WFTV. “I didn’t know exactly what was going on.”
Ordena then took off before Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived.
He returned before deputies left and was arrested trying to flee. Deputies said he rammed a patrol car and exit gate trying to get away.
Ordena is being held on charges of attempted first-degree murder, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a motor vehicle.
— Justin Campbell (@JCampbellNews6) March 5, 2019
According to court records, the suspect had seven previous arrests in the county since 2010, including at least two for domestic violence.
The toddler, 21 months old, was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, reported the Orlando Sentinel. The boy was awake when deputies arrived but he coughed up water and vomited as he was taken to an ambulance.
He was in stable condition as of March 5.
BREAKING: Orange County deputies say they have just arrested a man accused of trying to drown a toddler. @SAckermanWFTV has been at the scene all morning and has more right now on @WFTV #wftv pic.twitter.com/zHqsXRCfr1
— Daralene Jones (@DJonesWFTV) March 5, 2019
While authorities declined to disclose the exact relationship of Ordena to the child, Fox 35 reported that the child is Ordena’s son.
The toddler’s mother, Shantia Warren, told the broadcaster she’s grateful her son is alive.
“As soon as I heard it, I immediately fell out on the floor,” said Warren. “[I] just thank God I still got my baby.”
The relative in the pool was identified as Ordena’s father, who was babysitting the boy when Ordena became “irritated” at him and grabbed the boy.
First on 6: The mother of a 1-year-old boy, who deputies say almost drowned yesterday, is speaking out about what led to the traumatic experience and she’s exposing her relationship with her child’s father on @news6wkmg beginning at 4pm. Read more here: https://t.co/lVd3vqYKtL pic.twitter.com/QtiydlIDcr
— Jerry Askin (@JerryAskinNews) March 5, 2019
“His grandparents, they go above and beyond for him more than he do,” Warren said. “The fact that he’s in jail, I just feel so relieved, happy.”
The couple that helped intervene declined to be identified or speak publicly about what happened.
“We appreciate the offer and did what needed to be done and no recognition is required for doing what was right. With the investigation still going on we would not like to discuss details of our actions as this situation is still sensitive for the family,” they said in a statement obtained by WKMG.