MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The mother of a six-year-old who drowned last night has a message for other parents before they let their kids in the water.
“Give your kids swimming lessons, if your child don’t know how to swim, don’t them go to the water,” said the victim’s mother, Latoya Walker.
Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday night, Tony Caine was swimming in Wirth Lake, in Golden Valley when someone noticed him floating at the bottom of lake.
“A bystander walked passed and saw my son at the lake and as he was bringing my son up, he said the baby is dead,” said Tony’s mother, Latoya Walker.
Police don’t know how long he was in the water, but witnesses say he might have been in the water for about 10 minutes.
“I was right across the street, I had a leg injury and I had my almost 3-year-old, and my 18-month-old, when I heard. I was trying to make it across the street,” she said.
His mother said Tony’s aunt was watching him, but she was assisting another child who was struggling in the water when Tony went missing.
“No one saved my son,” she said. “My son is gone, 6 years old and my son is gone. When I came up to the beach, the man with the white T-shirt and black shorts was the one still pumping my child.”
Walker’s 11-year-old son was also in the water at the time.
“I saw him pick him up and I looked at him and I said, ‘hey, that’s my brother’ and he says, ‘he looks dead,’” said Dequarius Walker.
Dequarius helped the bystander pull his brother out of the water and he watched as that person performed CPR.
He says he felt the lifeguard did not do enough to save his brother. Minneapolis park board spokesperson says the two lifeguards on duty followed protocol.
“Our primary life guard did just what they are trained to do which is to get inside and make sure the secondary life guard is notified and call 911,” said Dawn Sommers, with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
Minneapolis Park and Rec officials say there were two lifeguards were on duty. Officials say one of them did mouth-to-mouth, while a bystander did chest compressions. The second lifeguard on duty went to get help.
His mother says Tony was a smart kid who loved to draw and crack jokes. She thanked the bystanders who did what they could to save her son. She says her son did not know how to swim.
This is the sixth drowning in Hennepin County this year, three have been children.