Saturday, February 24, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg motel residents try to rescue 5-year-old from pool

ST. PETERSBURG — Shawn Collins was standing near the Mosley Motel swimming pool Saturday night, talking to a woman throwing a birthday party there for her 3-year-old child.

Collins, 41, glanced over at the pool's deep end, according to police. There, under the water, he saw what looked like the figure of a young boy.

It was 5-year-old Jadan Justice.

Jadan had been playing with kids near the pool's shallow end, police said, but slipped unseen into the deep end of the pool and ended up submerged.

Collins immediately dove in and pulled Jadan from the pool. Two other residents at the extended-stay hotel, 41-year-old Stephanie Walker and 37-year-old Joleen Kennedy, tried to resuscitate the boy, to no avail, until rescuers arrived.

Justice was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital. Authorities were investigating the death Sunday. It happened about 9:40 p.m. Saturday at the motel, 401 34th St. N.

St. Petersburg police said that, at the time of the incident, Jadan's parents were inside their room at the motel. They had put Jadan's 13-year-old sibling, who was also in the pool, in charge of watching him.

The boy's father, James Justice, told Bay News 9 a different story. He said Jadan was not supposed to be in the pool at all. He thought instead that his son had been sitting on the steps near their room at the Mosley.

Neither Justice nor Collins returned calls for additional comment Sunday.

Police notified the Florida Department of Children & Families about the incident, according to St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.

A DCF spokeswoman did not return requests for comment Sunday.

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