Mother charged after 3-year-old son nearly drowns in Florida hot tub

She allegedly admitted to drinking and taking drugs beforehand, police said.

March 26, 2019, 8:26 PM

A woman in Florida is facing charges including neglect after her 3-year-old son nearly drowned in a Daytona Beach resort hot tub while she was allegedly intoxicated, according to authorities.

Apryl Connolly, 36, of Deltona, Florida, was with the boy and his twin brother and the children's father in a hot tub at Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort in Daytona Beach around 10 p.m. Sunday.

The father was swimming with the boys in the hot tub when they were alerted that the pool area was closing. He then took the boys to a table where Connolly was so he could pack up the family's belongings, according to an affidavit from the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety.

"At the time, he left both children in the custody of the defendant who was seated at the table," the affidavit said. "A short time later, he saw people jumping in the hot tub and exiting the water with the victim."

Surveillance footage released by authorities, which has no sound, showed the children standing unsupervised on the hot tub's interior seat before one boy steps into the middle of the hot tub and goes underwater. Wanda Van Blarrume, the resort desk clerk, was watching the surveillance video from the lobby and alerted staff member Michael Johnson that the boy may be drowning, the incident report said.

About two minutes after the boy initially went underwater, the footage showed Johnson turning the hot tub's jets off, jumping into the tub and pulling the child out.

"Mr. Johnson initially began CPR and was later joined" by the children's father, the affidavit said. According to police, the 3-year-old did not have a pulse and was not breathing.

PHOTO: A 3-year-old child is in stable condition and doing fine, according to Daytona police, after he nearly drowned in a resort hot tub. His mother was charged with child neglect.
A 3-year-old child is in stable condition and doing fine, according to Daytona police, after he nearly drowned in a resort hot tub. His mother was charged with child neglect.
Daytona Beach Shores Dept. of Public Safety

Another woman who was at the resort took over CPR until the child began to breathe on his own. The child was rushed to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in serious condition, police said.

"While people are attending to the victim, the defendant can be seen pacing the deck around the hot tub," the affidavit said.

In addition to being charged with child neglect, Connolly was also charged with destroying/tampering of evidence after officers reviewing the surveillance footage saw her throw something from her purse in the garbage.

As officers looked into the garbage can, according to the affidavit, "the defendant began to laugh and stated, 'They must be looking for the blue pill I threw out.'"

Authorities said a blue pill was later found in the garbage can and it was submitted for testing. Connolly allegedly told officers that the family had arrived to the hotel earlier that day and that the adults had consumed alcohol before and while in the pool area. She told police she did not know what the pill was but had gotten "nervous" after her son was found in the hot tub and tossed it, according to the affidavit.

"The defendant admitted to feeling 'buzzed' and that she thought other people were watching over her kids and that she could relax," the affidavit said.

Police said that in subsequent interviews with investigators Connolly and the children's father each had allegedly admitted to consuming marijuana, alcohol and oxycodone. She also admitted to consuming Suboxone, the affidavit said.

Connolly was arrested and is in jail without bond, the incident report said. No lawyer was listed for the suspect in court records.

Police told ABC News on Tuesday that the boy is in stable condition and is doing fine.