Off-Duty Officer Rescues Two Juveniles from Swimming Pool

August 27, 2001

Los Angeles: On Saturday, August 25, 2001, at approximately 12:35 P.M., 8 year old Kevin Stewart and 6 year old Dale Van Hort, were attending a pool party at the residence of a family relative in the 5100 block of South West Boulevard. There were other children in attendance as well. Family members were assisting a handicapped child from a van and told the other children not to go into the backyard where the pool was located.

Several of the children disobeyed the adults and ran to the rear of the location where the pool was located. 8-year-old Kevin Stewart immediately jumped into the pool, began struggling, and sank to the bottom of the pool. The other children thought he was playing and did not immediately alert an adult.

Approximately one minute later the child’s aunt became aware of the situation and jumped into the pool but could not reach him. She exited the pool and ran across the street and alerted off-duty Los Angeles Police Officer Wilfred Luke. Luke, assigned to South Traffic Division, ran to the location of the pool.

Meanwhile, Kevin’s 6-year-old brother, Dale, had jumped into the pool in an attempt to save his brother. He to became endangered and sank to the bottom of the pool. A 911 emergency call was created and on-duty Los Angeles Police Officers Bridget Pickett and Janice Estrada, assigned to 77th Street Area, responded to the location in less than a minute.

Luke immediately entered the pool, retrieved both children, and caused them to be removed from the pool. Both boys were unconscious, not breathing and had no pulse. Officer Luke began CPR on Kevin and Officers Pickett and Estrada began CPR on Dale. This continued until they were transported by Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance to local hospitals. Kevin Stewart was listed in critical condition with assisted breathing. Dale Van Hort is expected to make a full recovery.

This press release was prepared by Sergeant Mike Flanagan, 77th Street Area, 213-485-2389.