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Park Ridge Hotel Guests Rescue Baby Thrown in Pool by Babysitter – Is Bail High Enough [POLL]

Flikr user Mark Cartwright
Flikr user Mark Cartwright

Here’s the deal.

A mother leaves her 20 month old son in the care of a 32 year old drug-addled “baby sitter, who, while caring for the child, throws the baby into a hotel pool, for no apparent reason!

Since I first posted this, I come to find out that the “sitter” is the baby’s father, according to this report; and had been sentenced a couple of days before this to 2 years of state supervision, including drug testing and participation in a drug treatment program. The ruling came after a conviction for forging a prescription that he used to purchase painkillers.

Sounds like a real “winner” of a guy…no?

After the quick action of hotel guests to rescue the baby and resuscitate him, the “sitter” was subsequently arrested and held on 25 thousand dollars bail awaiting a hearing later on Wednesday.

The “sitter” or dad is the only one charged in this story.

According to this report:

Peter J. Clark, 32, of Bogota, the man accused of throwing the child into the pool, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated assault and several drug charges, police said. Prescription pain medication was found in the boy’s stroller at poolside, according to police.

Police referred to Clark as a babysitter, but declined to comment on his relationship to the child.

Police said people at the pool at the Park Ridge Marriott, 300 Brae Blvd., saw the boy tossed into the water around 1:30 p.m. and asked the man if he knew what he was doing.

Ethel Solomon, 53, of Highland Park was sitting outside her room with her family when she saw Clark throw the toddler into the pool “at quite a distance,” she said.

Although the child was wearing a flotation device, it did not keep him upright once he hit the water.

Nervous and concerned, Solomon left her family and walked over to the pool.

“I was scared,” she said Monday. “I said, ‘Why did you throw him in the pool?’ He said ‘He is fine. He likes it. He knows how to swim.”

Solomon told the man to take the child out of the pool, but, “things went bad pretty quickly,” she said.

Debbi Katcher, a 55-year-old swim instructor from Rockaway, was at the outdoor pool Sunday afternoon giving swimming lessons when she sprang into action to perform CPR on the boy.

At first, Katcher said, the child seemed to be paddling and wasn’t in distress.
The next time Katcher looked over, she said the boy was “motionless, face down, hands limp” in the water.

Clark picked up the unconscious baby, while Katcher and other hotel guests laid out a towel to place him on the pool’s edge.

Katcher removed his life vest and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation with the help of another guest. After about four minutes, the child finally started breathing, she said.
Soon after the child started breathing, an ambulance arrived and EMTs placed an oxygen mask on the boy and took him to the hospital.

Clark was incoherent and had difficulty staying awake while being taken to police headquarters, officers said.

Clark was being held on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to appear at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Pascack Joint Municipal Court, according to police.

The boy’s mother was in her hotel room with another child while Clark was at the pool with the boy, police said. Katcher said the mother was distraught, yelling at Clark, after someone told her what had happened, and she rushed to the pool, Katcher said.

Ok, so now that you have all the background information, what goes through your mind?

Here are the questions that immediately come to mind for me:

1) Why is the “sitter”… or drug addled dad… only being held on 25 thousand dollars bail?

2) Should the mother be charged with anything? (Like leaving the child with a “drug addled” dad…especially since he’d been sentenced a couple of days before to 2 years in a drug treatment program?)

Sounds like an episode of “What Would You Do”?

But then again, what WOULD you DO?


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