APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - An 18-year-old man is in custody after allegedly pushing an eight-year-old boy over the railing of a water slide platform at the Apple Valley Aquatic Center, causing the boy to fall more than 30 feet to the ground, according to Apple Valley police.
“About 70,000 people go through their water park every season, it’s been open for 20 years and we’ve had nothing near this incident take place at all,” said Apple Valley Police Captain Nick Francis.
Officials say police responded to the incident Tuesday around 1:35 p.m. at the Apple Valley Aquatic Center. When responders arrived the boy was conscious and breathing. Crews took him to a hospital. Capt. Francis told Fox 9 the boy suffered multiple broken bones and has already had some surgeries. He is currently in stable condition.
According to preliminary investigation, the 18-year-old man of Maple Grove was waiting in line behind the boy on the water slide platform when the 18-year-old picked up the boy and pushed him over the railing. The eight-year-old fell about 31 feet onto the concrete below. The two did not have any prior interaction and did not know each other.
Capt. Francis says the 18-year-old man is developmentally delayed. An aide was with the 18-year-old at the pool, but it is unclear if the aide was with him in the water slide line. In an interview with police, the 18-year-old admitted to pushing the boy and said he was upset that the line was taking too long.
“There was no argument, no pushing, no shoving, no words exchanged, just this individual walking up and throwing this poor kid off the top,” said Capt. Francis.
Police arrested the man. He is facing possible charges for third degree assault.