At about 10:41 p.m. on August 23, a Tucson Police Department officer, who was working in an off duty capacity at the Golf N’ Stuff located at 6503 East Tanque Verde, requested additional units to respond to the area in order to assist with locating a missing toddler. Officers from Operations Division East responded to assist with the search. Later in the evening, after the child had been located, detectives from the Dependent Child Unit responded to determine the sequence of events that led up to when the child was discovered missing. During the course of the investigation, it was learned that the toddler had been at the Golf N’ Stuff with her family since just before 8:30 p.m. As the family was finishing a game of miniature golf, the child wandered away from her parents. She has been described as a 23-month old little girl. When the family discovered that she was missing, they immediately notified staff at Golf N’ Stuff, who then notified the off-duty officer. It is estimated that approximately 10-15 seconds passed between when her family last saw the female toddler and when they determined that she was missing. Due to the fact that they were near a water feature on the western end of the miniature golf course, the family believed that she had fallen into the water. An adult male citizen, who was playing on the miniature golf course nearby heard the family yelling for help and immediately began searching for her as well. The adult male saw the toddler in the water feature and quickly jumped in to pull her out. He attempted to initiate CPR in an effort to revive her, as she was not breathing. However, he was not trained in performing CPR and was unsuccessful. Thankfully, all officers with the Tucson Police Department receive training related to basic emergency medical life saving measures, including CPR. Officer Billy Daniel, a 26.5 year veteran, and Officer Jeremy Hall, a 1 year veteran and former EMT, were successfully able to administer CPR. By the time emergency medical personnel from the Tucson Fire Department arrived, the child was breathing once again. The Tucson Fire Department personnel transported the toddler to a local hospital for further medical evaluation and treatment. Her condition at the time was deemed to be critical. As of the morning of August 26, her medical status has improved greatly, and medical personnel at the hospital believe that she is very likely to survive.
While it was an unfortunate accident, we are thankful to the family for quickly notifying authorities and to the citizen, who initially located the little girl and pulled her out of the water. We are especially proud of our officers for immediately recognizing the need for CPR and administering it appropriately, successfully reviving the child and increasing the likelihood of her surviving the incident.