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New Canaan Lifeguard Pleads Not Guilty In Near-Drowning At Chelsea Piers

Zachary Stein
Zachary Stein Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

STAMFORD, Conn. -- A 23-year-old lifeguard from New Canaan, charged in connection with the near-drowning of a 5-year-old boy at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday, according to the Stamford Advocate.

Zachary Stein turned himself in to police on Sept. 6 and was charged with first-degree risk of injury to a child and reckless endangerment in connection with the Aug. 3 incident.

Stein's attorney pleaded not guilty on behalf of Stein, who did not speak during his court appearance and did not make any comments after leaving the courthouse, according to the Stamford Advocate. His attorney, Mark Sherman, said that Stein is relieved that the child, a 5-year-old boy from New Canaan, is recovering from the incident, according to the Stamford Advocate.

Related story: Lawyer: New Canaan lifeguard's focus was on boy's recovery in near-drowning

Stein was one of three lifeguards on-duty in the Splash Zone at Chelsea Piers when the incident happened. The boy who nearly drowned was attending a soccer day camp at Chelsea Piers, police said.

The boy's group was taking a break in the Splash Zone when he became submerged underwater for about 4 minutes, Stamford police said. Stein was assigned to the pool where the incident occurred, police said.

Stein was walking around the pool when the boy slipped under the water, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Stamford Advocate. A video shows that while Stein sits down, another boy playing with the boy who nearly drowned sits at the edge of the pool and appears to watch the child under the water, according to the Stamford Advocate.

The boy watching the child under the water apparently did not say anything, and Stein got up and walked near the area where the 5-year-old was underwater but did not notice, according to the Stamford Advocate. After a few minutes Stein finally notices the boy underwater, and jumps in a few seconds later and pulls him from the water, the Stamford Advocate reported.

The boy was unconscious and not breathing when he was pulled from the pool by Stein, who administered CPR with a co-worker, the Stamford Fire Department said.

Stein is set to appear in court again on Sept. 29, according to the Stamford Advocate.

Click here to read the Stamford Advocate story.

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