Society

Citizen Saves Drowning Man While Cops Stand By (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Fairfax County PoliceFairfax County Police

A 20-year-old Polish lifeguard reportedly tried to drown himself in a pool in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 30 (video below).

Fairfax County Police were called to the pool after witnesses reported the Polish man acting strangely and "constantly blowing his whistle," WUSA reports.

Officer Monica Meeks said authorities evacuated the pool area and attempted to calm the lifeguard, who at this point was yelling in Polish, notes WTOP. A Polish-speaking officer on duty was called to the scene to speak to the lifeguard.

After failed attempts to calm down the man, the man jumped into the pool and sank in the deep end.

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He was reportedly underwater for two minutes and 40 seconds until an unidentified man, also believed to be a lifeguard, jumped in the pool and brought him up while police officers watched.

After the civilian dove into the water, three cops started to remove their equipment. Two cops jumped in the pool and pulled the Polish lifeguard out, but he did not have a pulse.

According to Lt. Brian Gaydos, the officers performed CPR and brought the man back to life.

However, questions linger as to why the police allowed the man to stay under water for nearly three minutes.

Gaydos stated:

At that point, it is not believed that the gentleman was making any verbal threats to himself, about harming himself.  And it seems to be just a fluid situation where they were talking to the gentleman, he was entering the pool, exiting the pool. And just trying to calm the situation down and get him the crisis intervention that he needed

It's not clear how someone underwater could make verbal threats.

A 2014 report found some experienced free divers have been known to hold their breath underwater for three minutes, maybe a little longer, according to BBC News.

Gaydos added that if the man who rescued the lifeguard was a lifeguard himself, then it was appropriate because cops are not trained to do water rescues.

However, world history is riddled with incidents of non-trained people rescuing others from water.

"The officers would've put his life at risk if he would've jumped right in with all of his gear on," Gaydos added. "And then we would've had to rescue two people as opposed to one."

However, an officer could have removed his gear much earlier in the situation.

Police were worried the lifeguard might have pulled someone else down, but that fear did not stop the civilian from saving the lifeguard.

After the lifeguard was rescued from the pool, Fairfax County EMTs arrived, but they used a ladder to climb over the pool fence instead of entering through the door. It is unclear why EMTs were not able to use the door to enter the pool area.

The lifeguard was taken to a local hospital, and is being investigated for a possible assault allegation.

Sources: WUSA, WTOP, BBC News / Photo Credit: WUSA via SanVic/YouTube

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