A Florida swim instructor has been charged with negligence after a 3-year-old boy under her care went underwater for over two minutes, nearly drowning.
Despite four swim instructors being present at the time, the 3-year-old boy who couldn’t swim almost died, according to the civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the family, reported Click Orlando.
Attorney Larry Gonzalez filed the lawsuit on behalf of the family against 34-year-old Jessica Kretz with Park Maitland School.
After a boy nearly drowned last year at the Park Maitland School swimming pool, the swim instructor who was told the child could not swim was arrested this week and charged with child neglect. https://t.co/DvoNZ3d3fo
— News 6 WKMG (@news6wkmg) May 29, 2019
“This is a small pool and they are not paying attention at all. Completely dropped the ball,” Gonzalez said.
The school’s pool measures 21-feet in width and 34-feet in length, according to the Miami Herald.
Gonzalez claims the school was negligent and the swim instructors were not paying attention on July 9 last year as the boy was left struggling underwater for over two minutes, according to Click Orlando.
“There’s just a complete lack of supervision for two full minutes. They don’t even glance back to check on him. It’s shocking, really,” he said.
#News6 has obtained video of a 3-yr-old nearly drowning at a Park Maitland School swim camp. Swim instructor Jessica Kretz has been charged with felony child neglect. @AmandaNCastro has the story at 5 and 6pm. pic.twitter.com/HaO4BRfNit
— Mike DeForest (@DeForestNews6) May 30, 2019
In surveillance footage obtained by News 6, the boy can be seen with a flotation device by the pool. However, when he entered the pool with the flotation device, it slipped out from under him and the boy disappeared below the water. The video showed the boy struggling for almost two minutes before going still.
Eventually, Kretz noticed the boy and pulled him out.
“This entire time, the teachers who are supposed to be watching him are on the other side of the pool,” Gonzalez said.
Video obtained by #News6 shows a 3-yr-old nearly drown at a swim camp at Park Maitland School. Swim instructor Jessica Kretz has pleaded not guilty to a felony child neglect charge. https://t.co/PGaIH7fOIM pic.twitter.com/Yrg8snA2KG
— Mike DeForest (@DeForestNews6) May 30, 2019
On May 24, Maitland police arrested Kretz and charged her with child neglect “causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or disability,” according to Orange County Circuit Court records obtained by the Miami Herald.
According to the Maitland police incident report obtained by Click Orlando, Kretz knew the boy couldn’t swim.
Kretz pleaded not guilty and was released from Maitland Jail after paying $5,000 bail, according to the Miami Herald.
#Florida swim instructor charged after 3-year-old boy nearly drownshttps://t.co/bp8z9hgYBV
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) June 1, 2019
According to the report, Kretz was ordered not to have any contact with the boy’s family. She has also been prohibited from working or volunteering with children under the age of 18. Additionally, Kretz cannot work as a swim instructor, swim coach, or lifeguard.
“Kretz was a very qualified swim instructor and was employed with the school for more than four years,” a spokesperson for Park Maitland School told Click Orlando.
Last November, the boy’s parents filed a negligence lawsuit against the Park Maitland School. While the lawsuit didn’t name Kretz directly, it alleged that the school failed to properly train its employees in supervising children.
#UPDATE: @news6wkmg obtained surveillance video showing the moments a 3 year old boy nearly drowned during a swim camp last summer at Park Maitland School. His family is now filing a civil lawsuit against the school.
I’ll have the latest in my reports at 5 & 6PM on News 6 pic.twitter.com/bIcnWBKsuh
— Amanda Castro (@AmandaNews6) May 30, 2019
Following the incident, the boy’s parents claimed that their son “sustained bodily injury, pain, and suffering of both a physical and mental nature, [and] disability,” among other ailments, as well as a “loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life,” according to the Miami Herald.
They are also suing for hospital expenses.
Gonzalez added that the boy is still struggling with health issues after the near drowning incident, according to Click Orlando.
“He is continuing to see doctors. He has continued to seek care because he is still having significant issues, both cognitive, physical and mental issues to this day, and we’re almost a year later,” he said.