Mom charged after 3-year-old boy nearly drowns in hot tub, police say

Suspect accused of using drugs before incident

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. - A mother is facing charges after her 3-year-old son nearly drowned in a hot tub while in her care, according to the Daytona Beach Shore Police Department.

Police said Apryl Connolly, 36, was at Perry's Ocean Edge Resort with her twins boys and the children's father Sunday night and while the man went to gather the family's belongings, Connolly was supposed to be watching the children.

A front desk clerk who was watching surveillance footage saw the twins return to the hot tub and were standing on an interior seat, then one of them stepped into the middle and went underwater, according to a news release.

The witness called a staff member to respond to the pool, Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Director Chief Stephan Dembinsky said.

"The maintance man went down there and saw one child sitting on the side of the pool and for a second didn't realize what happened but someone from the second floor of the hotel said no, no, I saw the child go in the pool," he said.

The staff member turned off the hot tub jets, saw the boy submerged and jumped in to save him, according to authorities.

The boy was not breathing and he had no pulse.

The staff member and the boy's father began CPR until a guest was able to take over and get the child to breath on his own, the report said. The boy was taken to Halifax Medical Center, then transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children due to the severity of his injuries.

"We're just praying that the baby lives. The baby would have died without that (front desk) clerk, I don't know the lady's name, but you can bet she's going to get a letter of appreciation from me," Dembinsky said.

Police said surveillance video showed that Connolly was throwing away a pill while her child was being resuscitated. She also admitted to consuming alcohol, marijuana, oxycodone and suboxone prior to the incident, the report said.

"She didn't seem to care too much from what my officers were telling me, about what was going on. She was more concerned getting rid of her pills," Dembinsky said.

Connolly is facing charges of child neglect and destruction of evidence.

"I was definitely watching my son. I turned around for two seconds. I have twins," Connolly said as she was being placed into a patrol vehicle.

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