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Thread: Police lay charges after toddler drowns in backyard pond

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    Police lay charges after toddler drowns in backyard pond

    A two-year-old boy has died after he fell into a pond behind a home in Scarborough late Tuesday morning. Toronto police said the toddler was not breathing when he was found in a small backyard pond on Carrying Place at about 10:30 a.m.

    The family launched a frantic search after the child went missing and eventually found him lying in a small koi pond behind the house next door.

    That yard was fenced but had no gate, neighbours said.

    Police said the homeowner at 21 Carrying Place is facing a charge of criminal negligence causing death.

    This is the second tragedy in regards to children and backyard ponds in a month in the GTA.
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    Ouch. That's no good at all. I wonder though about the fence with no gate. The kid climbed The fence? If So how is the property owner at fault? Just wondering as story isn't too clear.
    I have a toddler as well So I know full well how easy it is for them to find trouble. I feel horrible for the parents but also for the pond owner's as well. As long as the yard was fenced in properly. Meaning a child had to climb the fence to get in.
    Rob

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    Sorry for the loss of the baby but when do parents take responsibility? We had a toddler on the news at the swim club drown, parents are suing the club and the paramedics. When is it their responsibility.
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    http://www.thestar.com/news/article/...-hospital?bn=1

    There is an update it appears this area was not fenced in. if thats the case its their fault you need to have your property secured. Especially if you have a pool or pond.
    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Peters View Post
    My take is that there is a fence mourn the back, and side yards but there are no gates where they are supposed to be allowing the toddler to walk right in.
    Conflicting news story's in the media during a new investigation. They have a fence but no gate was up allowing easy access for anyone. Also Toront has bylaws that require a fence around ponds I guess from want I'm reading.
    Rob

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    There are way too many pond drownings across the US yearly...
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    I agree that it is a terrible situation. But I have to agree with Cindy and Russ,,,i have no idea how a 2 yr old could wander away from his parents all the way to a neighbors house. I have 2 young children and I may catch grief for saying this but I dont feel like the pond owners are at fault at all. A lawsuit will not bring the child back.

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    Looks like the city fenced it in now...

    Agreed that it is a horrible situation for all involved, but the parents should take the bulk of the blame on this one.

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    There are a number of various news articles about this now available, from what I can determine the yard has a fence but no gate removed, broken whatever. Some of the reports do indicate no fence between the two neighbours backyards where the child lived and the pond location but at the same time it appears in various videos there is one. In any event the property owner is charged with criminal negligence causing death.

    Section 219(1) of the Criminal Code sets out the offence of criminal negligence. It states: “Every one is criminally negligent who (a) in doing anything, or (b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.” Section 220 goes on to provide that a person who causes death by criminal negligence is “liable to imprisonment for life.”

    Later in the day, the City of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards division posted a “notice of violation” on the front door. “Fencing required to eliminate unsafe condition, namely pond capable of holding 600 mm of water,” the notice said.

    Same day the city sends in crew to install temporary fencing.
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    By that definition the parents of the toddler then are guilty of the offence of criminal negligence and therefore the parents are the ones who should be charged and arrested. Charging the neighbors is twisted logic.
    Last edited by monomer; 06-20-2012 at 12:36 AM.

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    No doubt that it's very sad and I'm sorry that the baby is dead....but watch your kids. I think the parents are more at fault than the pond owner. I can somewhat "understand" if a parent loses track of a five year old for a few minutes...they're older. However, a two year old?? My little cousin (the one I just made the puppy cake for) just turned two and his mom is on him like bees on honey whenever that little storm of a child is awake. He gets into things in the blink of an eye. How long was the poor kid missing before someone noticed he was gone?
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    “Every one is criminally negligent who (a) in doing anything, or (b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.” Section 220 goes on to provide that a person who causes death by criminal negligence is “liable to imprisonment for life.”

    If this is what the wording of the law is it was down to the parents to make sure their child could not get into danger, the child was their responsibility, it should not be able to wander into the road, or onto other folks property

    The neighbours chose to have a pond and could not be considered reckless as they cannot anticipate other folk, or childrens reckless behaviour.

    A pretty landscape with a pond in it is no more evidence of an intent to 'cause death' than a rock on the ground, a step, paved concrete which can cause death if folk recklessly fall on to them

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    I think the parents should have been charged, not the homeowner. That's like making the township that a lake resides in responsible for anyone who has a cottage on it drowing in it IMO. Whoever was supposed to be minding the child, should have been minding the child, period.

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    Ok the law says the pond should have been fenced but the parents should be charged with neglect for not watching their child.
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    If the pond was not fenced, the neighbor should be charged with breaking that law which resulted in an unintended death. The parents should be charged with neglect. NC requires that pools be fenced, but I don't think there is a law regarding ponds - I'll have to look that up. Mine is fenced with gates that latch.


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    Quote Originally Posted by monomer View Post
    By that definition the parents of the toddler then are guilty of the offence of criminal negligence and therefore the parents are the ones who should be charged and arrested. Charging the neighbors is twisted logic.
    This is an excellent observation, in my opinion. Suppose that the child -- being allowed to wander off -- found his way into some local wild areas (adjacent woods, forests, etc). What if there were small bodies of water (ponds, lakes, streams, bogs, marshes, etc) in those areas, and the child drowned in one of those water sources? THEN who's fault is it? Are they going to sue God? Will *nature* be subject to imprisonment? Or perhaps it is the government's fault for not *protecting* society from the ravages of the wild by erecting a huge padded fence around anything and everything which can possibly consistute a hazard -- which would include anything and everything.

    When I was a child, my father owned a small piece of land in the woods of Ohio -- I think it was about 4 acres. It had a tiny stream which meandered through it, and also two small ponds. "Fencing" -- such as it was -- consisted of placing the ocassional boundary marker on a tree. There was some barbed wire along the only side of the land that faced a road. Deer were constantly traveling through the area, and they had a habit of knocking down our attempts at keeping them out of the garden areas via fencing. Upon reflection, a toddler could have easily wandered on to the property and drowned....

    I feel sorry for the parents of the child, but I also feel sorry for the pond owner, as everyone's life is going to be pretty much destroyed by this.....

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    Wow, I am shocked at some of these responses. I will say that we watch our kids, especially at those younger years, but to say your kid never left your site for a moment in his/her whole life I find ridiculous. It is not about blame, it is tragic for all involved. Yes, someone will be found guilty. Trust me those poor parents will never be the same racked with guilt.

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    Where I live, you need a fence for anything deeper than 24 inches. Mine is less than 24 inches, about 22-23 inches to stay within code. This is considered a water feature by the city, not a pond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Peters View Post
    The Federal Government decided, years ago, that a child could drown in a 5 gallon bucket with a few inches of water in it. They have warning lables on the bucket but a child could still drown.
    Absolutely. I should have wrote what I was thinking, which is I wonder how deep that pond was in Toronto? Meaning if the regulations are the same (for sake for sake of the discussion) if the pond was less than 24 inches would the pond owner be liable being that no codes were broken?

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    The City fenced it based on "violation - pond capable of holding 600 mm of water "which indicates it was at or over 24" deep.
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