STAMFORD, Connecticut - Four minutes and nine seconds. That is how long a 5-year-old spent underwater at Chelsea Piers in Stamford last August.
On Tuesday, 23-year-old Zachary Stein, the lifeguard on duty at the time, plead not guilty to the near drowning of the young boy. It is a landmark case, and the lifeguard is being charged with negligence even though the child survived.
The child was attending a soccer camp and was in the pool with several other kids during recreation time.
The facility's website shows it is a small, shallow pool, but somehow no one noticed the boy was under water as more than four minutes passed.
Stein's lawyer says his client should not face any charges. Mark Sherman
"Not every accident is a crime, but this case will deal with the challenge when the criminal justice system intersects with a first responder that's trying to do his job, and trying to do the best job possible under difficult circumstances," said Mark Sherman.
Police have reviewed surveillance video, they say the Stein was at his post, not on the phone, or reading a book, but somehow completely unaware the boy had slipped under the surface.
Stein did administer CPR on the boy, and that is credited with saving his life.