Lifeguard Charged With Endangerment After Saving 5-Year-Old Boy From Drowning

"He wasn't drunk, he wasn't texting, he wasn't talking to girls or other lifeguards or other people."

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

A Connecticut lifeguard has been charged for endangering a child's life— despite saving him from drowning.

According to CBS223-year-old Zach Stein saved the life of 5-year-old Adam Khattak at a splash pool at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. Authorities believe he should've saved the child sooner.

According to surveillance, the child was underwater for nearly 4 minutes before being pulled out. Eight other children were in the pool. Stein was one of three lifeguards on duty, but was specifically assigned to that area. 

“He did do his lap, like he normally does, but he just failed to see the kid underwater,” Tom Barcello of the Stamford Police Department said.

When Stein saw the child, he rescued him and gave him CPR. The child was revived.

Stein's attorney maintains that his client did his job. “Zach saved this child’s life. He was the first person to pull this child out of the water and administered life-saving CPR,” Mark Sherman, said. “Now you just can’t make every accident or mistake a crime.” The attorney added, "He wasn't drunk, he wasn't texting, he wasn't talking to girls or other lifeguards or other people. He was doing his job."

Stein has resigned from his job at Chelsea Piers after working there for five years. He has been charged with reckless endangerment and injury to a minor.The American Lifeguard Association states that this is the first time that a lifeguard has been criminally charged for a near-fatal drowning.

The child is recovering.

[Photo: Stamford Police]

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