Maitland swim instructor charged with child neglect after boy nearly drowns

3-year-old's parents told instructors he could not swim, police say

MAITLAND, Fla. – After a 3-year-old 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.

Maitland police said Jessica Kretz, 34, was one of two swim instructors supervising 15 children at the school's swim camp on July 6, 2018, when the victim went under the water for more than two minutes.

At the time when the child nearly drowned, the students were split into two groups and he was in Kretz's swim lesson group, according to the police report.

The 3-year-old boy was left on the steps of the pool with another child when he slipped off the steps and went under the water, according to surveillance video. Detectives said the video shows Kretz had her back to the boy and did not check on him after leaving him unsupervised on the stairs on the other side of the pool.

The video shows Kretz noticing the boy was drowning about 20 seconds after he stopped moving and she begins making her way toward him. Kretz pulled the victim from the pool and began performing CPR, and he regained consciousness about four minutes later, according to the report.

The victim's parents told police the swim instructors were informed their child could not swim. Kretz said in her written statement to police that the boy was one of two children in the class who were "swimmers that are not safe."

In October, Maitland police recommended charges be filed against both instructors, but only Kretz has been charged. The state attorney's office confirmed charges will not be filed against the other instructor.

Court records show police arrested Kretz on Tuesday.

According to the incident report, Maitland police said if staff hadn't performed CPR, the child "would most likely have died as a result of the swimming instructors failing to supervise the juvenile and safeguard the juvenile from the hazard of drowning."

Park Maitland School officials said she is no longer with the school but didn't provide further information on her departure.

"Kretz was a very qualified swim instructor and was employed with the school for more than four years," a spokesperson for the school said.

Investigators contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families, who is conducting its own investigation.

The boy's condition is unknown. 
News 6 called and texted Kretz for comment, but never heard back.

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