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Police save toddler who fell into pool

2 brothers wandered from their Reed Road apartment

What started as a report of two toddlers wandering a neighborhood early Saturday ended with the rescue of one of the children from a nearby swimming pool.

About 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Fort Wayne police officers went to the 6500 block of Reed Road to look into a reported case of child neglect. The man at the address said two toddlers wearing pull-up diapers were at his door, according to a police report.

The man said he tried to steer them back to their home, but they seemed afraid of him so he went back to his own apartment.

Officers patrolled the Fountain Lake Apartment complex on Reed Road, but after a couple of laps had not found the two boys. But as one officer finished her patrol, she saw one of the boys standing at the edge of the complex’s swimming pool. As she looked further, she saw the other boy, face up in the water, his eyes open, but no movement, according to the report.

She kicked her way past the pool door and jumped into the water, wearing her full uniform and gun belt. She got the boy to the side of the pool where another officer was standing.

A third police officer kept the second toddler safe, while the two worked on saving the other’s life.

He was still breathing, but his skin was slightly purple and he was non-responsive but was making a “distressed” sound. They did some chest compressions to force water out of his lungs, turned him on his side, and he vomited up some water.

They bundled him up in a blanket and handed him off to the paramedics, and he was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition, according to the report.

Police interviewed the parents, who said they put the children to bed about 7:30 Friday night, but awoke to discover the patio door open. The father told investigators when he realized they were missing, he began to search the area and then spotted the police officers around the pool area, according to the report.

The rescuing police officer’s gear survived her plunge into the pool, with the exception of her police-issued Taser and her personal cellphone.

Representatives of the Department of Children Services responded to the scene, according to the report. No charges have been filed.