ST. CHARLES – The police officers who responded to the drowning at a St. Charles country club last month described in a St. Charles Police Department report the “chaotic” scene as bystanders screamed for help while others worked to resuscitate the 4-year-old boy.
Witnesses reportedly told police that on June 14 the boy – Paulino F. Delle Grazie of St. Charles Township – had been playing in the shallow end of the pool at Royal Fox Country Club. He was seen wearing a snorkel mask and a life jacket, police said in a report the Kane County Chronicle recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The boy, however, apparently took off the life jacket, as a lifeguard reported seeing him without it at one point and heard someone yelling at him to put it back on, police reported.
At about 3 p.m., police said, a child alerted others that someone – later identified as Paulino – was at the bottom of the pool near the yellow slide that empties into a depth of more than 5 feet.
A lifeguard responded while another called 911, police reported, and the boy’s mother, who had been sitting on the opposite end of the pool, ran over.
Paulino, who was found face down, was pulled from the water wearing the snorkel mask but not the vest, police reported. Police said the lifeguard who saw Paulino go down the slide estimated he was under water for 30 to 60 seconds.
Lifesaving efforts attempted by staff lifeguards were hindered by others trying to help, police said.
“People would not move back to allow [country club] staff to do their job despite several requests by the lifeguard,” police reported. “Family and friends of Paulino had gathered around.”
By the time police arrived, a doctor was performing chest compressions on the boy, and a lifeguard was helping in giving breaths and turning him on his side as he vomited, police said.
The country club, 4405 Royal and Ancient Drive, does not have a defibrillator on site, police reported.
Medics took Paulino to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where he was pronounced dead at 4:11 p.m. A preliminary autopsy showed the boy died from drowning, Kane County Coroner Rob Russell has said.
Family reportedly told police the boy did not know how to swim.