Dad arrested for manslaughter after 9-year-old autistic son found at bottom of pool

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PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – Port St Lucie Police Detectives with the assistance of the United States Marshals Task Force arrest man for Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, after his 9-year-old son is found at the bottom of his pool.

“With summer quickly approaching, we implore residents to re-evaluate your swimming safety measures,” the Port St. Lucie Police Department said today. “This is a tragic reminder of the danger’s children diagnosed with Autism and even children who are not diagnosed with Autism can encounter. If you have been putting off purchasing door locks, pool alarms, or a pool fence, don’t wait any longer.”

On April 19, 2021 Port St Lucie Police responded to the 2100 Blk of SE Bisbee St about a 9-year-old boy being found at the bottom of a pool. Upon arrival, Officers found the father of the boy performing CPR. Officers took over CPR until St. Lucie County Fire District arrived and transported the boy to a local hospital, where a faint pulse was established.

Port St Lucie Police Detectives sought and obtained a warrant for Gareth Grant’s arrest after his 9-year-old son, was declared brain dead on April 21, 2021. An autopsy has since been performed. After conducting thorough interviews, Detectives learned that Grant was home alone with his three children.

“At some point, he left the rear door open leading to the pool. Grant was occupied for approximately 30 minutes while tending to his other children and noticed his son was not at his desk, for virtual school,” the department said. “Grant looked in the house, back yard, and front yard, but didn’t think to check the pool because his son has never shown any interest in going into the pool. There was no fence or barrier around the perimeter of the pool to prevent children from accidentally falling in.”

There were no child safety locks on the doors. The color of the pool water was green. Grant, upon finding his son at the bottom of the pool, called his wife first, who instructed him to call 911. It wasn’t until Grant called 911, who instructed him to get his son out of the pool.

Being afraid of the water and unable to swim himself, he used a rake to bring his son out of the pool. It was at that point Grant began performing CPR as instructed by dispatchers. Grant started his son is diagnosed with Autism, non-verbal, and has the mental capacity of a one, or two-year-old. According to the Department of Children and Families, there was one prior incident where a door was left open/unsecured, and Grant’s son left the residence while he and his wife were sleeping.