U students save 7-year-old boy from drowning at St. Paul Gym pool

Crime Box

Chad Hamblin

Two University students rescued a drowning 7-year-old boy from the St. Paul Gymnasium swimming pool Wednesday.

The boy attended the University’s Youth & Community Program summer day camp.

At approximately 11 a.m., Bob Wothe, a College of Liberal Arts student and group leader at the camp, saw the boy lying at the bottom of the pool. He pulled the boy’s limp body up to the surface, according to a police report.

Alex Erickson, a lifeguard at the pool, took the boy and laid him on the pool deck. The boy was not breathing but had a pulse, according to the report.

Erickson, a College of Natural Resources student, performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the boy until he coughed up a “great deal of fluid,” the report stated.

Erickson laid the boy on his left side and kept him breathing until rescue workers arrived.

Witnesses said the boy was under the water for 30 to 60 seconds, according to the report.

“The staff performed amazingly well,” said Todd Tratz, the camp’s program manager. “The top priority of the program is the safety of the kids.”

The boy was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. He returned to the camp on Friday.

Tratz said the St. Paul police might officially honor the two students for the rescue.

Internet fraud

A University graduate student reported her check-card number stolen Wednesday.

When Supaporn Suttamanatwong checked her TCF account she found her balance was at negative $2,000.

The withdrawals came from Madrid, Spain, Suttamanatwong said.

“There were four or five transactions of about $500 withdrawals,” she said.

She is not missing any checks or her check card, she said in the police report.

She said she thinks the card number was stolen after she used it to shop online.

Deputy Police Chief for the University Police Department Steve Johnson said it is better to make online purchases with a credit card instead of a check card.

“With a credit card you have more protection and recourse against someone else using the card,” Johnson said.

Suttamanatwong said she canceled the account and that TCF would reimburse her for the lost money.

“That’s a good thing,” she said.

Illegal skateboarding

University police cited three youths for skateboarding on University property in two separate incidents around Blegen Hall and the Nolte Center for Continuing Education last week.

In both incidents, police officers warned the skateboarders to stop before issuing citations, according to a police report.

Police confiscated the youths’ skateboards and held them for 24 hours.

Johnson said the youths have damaged benches and railings by grinding their skateboards on them.

“It’s literally thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage to University grounds and property,” he said. “It’s not some innocent skateboarding activity and it’s not just because the cops want to come down on kids that look like counterculture types.”

People who are caught skateboarding on the University’s property must pay a $90 fine and appear in court.