A Stamford judge has allowed a former Chelsea Piers lifeguard who almost let a 5-year-old New Canaan boy drown last year to take part in a court diversionary program, according to multiple sources.
Zachary Stein, 24, of New Canaan, originally charged with reckless endangerment and risk of injury, will have a clean record once he completes the program in 2020, officials said.
During the program, Stein will not be allowed to work as a lifeguard or any similar type of employment, Judge Gary White ruled.
The sentence, handed down Friday, was made over the objections of Stamford State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo, who argued Stein intentionally chose not to do his job.
However, Stein’s attorney Mark Sherman argued his client was working, not fooling around, but could have done a better job at paying attention.
The child's family said they supported Stein being accepted into the diversionary program.
The incident occurred Aug. 3 when the boy was attending a soccer day camp at Chelsea Piers, Stamford police said after the incident occurred.
The boy's group was taking a break in the sports facility's Splash Zone when he became submerged underwater for about 4 minutes.
Stein was one of three lifeguards on duty and was assigned to the pool where the incident occurred, police said.
The boy was unconscious and not breathing when he was pulled from the pool by Stein, who along with others administered CPR, the Stamford Fire Department said.
The boy was taken first to Stamford Hospital, then airlifted to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. He was initially unconscious but made a rapid recovery in the weekend after the incident.
Stamford police called it a "miracle" when the 5-year-old was released from the hospital.
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