Boy critical after falling into Phoenix canal


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 1 at 3:24 PM

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PHOENIX -- A 2-year-old boy is in extremely critical condition after falling into a canal at 23rd Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix Thursday morning.

A passerby saw the child in the canal and called 911. People in the area tried to help save the boy.

Police officers were nearby and responded quickly to the scene.

"Our officers happened to be very close," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department. "One of our officers actually jumped into the canal and swam to try to rescue that young child."

The female officer pulled the unresponsive child out of the water.

CPR was administered on scene then the boy was transported to a local hospital.

Police said the toddler had wandered from his family's apartment where he was being watched by his teenage siblings.

Apparently, the boy got into the canal after going through a hole in a block wall surrounding the Indian Canyon apartment complex.

"We have little ones and that was our biggest fear of letting our kids play out here because of that hole," said mother and apartment resident Crystal Jackson.

Jackson said she and other residents have complained to the apartment complex staff about the hole in the wall for several weeks. On Friday, it was repaired by a Valley contractor who offered to do it for free. However, the apartment complex insisted on paying the contractor, who said he was just glad to get it done.

"Heart-wrenching when something like this happens," Thompson said. "The officer involved, she did her job. She did the best of her ability, acted heroically when she did this, but she's noticeably shaken on this situation."

The female officer has been with the Phoenix Police Department for 34 years.