Local News

Officer Saves 2-Year-Old Girl Found In Pool

Posted August 8, 2002

— A N.C. Central University police officer in Durham is being called a hero after saving the life of a little girl.

On Wednesday, Tonya Gattis found a 2-year-old girl floating face down in the pool at the Lakemoor Apartments in Durham around 4:45 p.m. and jumped in to pull her out. Officer Ken Battle heard the commotion and tried to help.

"Basically, I was checking my mailbox and talking to the management. When I got back to my car, that is when I heard a lady yelling, saying that she needed some help. She had a young girl in her arms and the young girl was limp," Battle said.

Battle began CPR and the girl began breathing again. She was taken to Duke University Hospital where she is listed in good condition.

"That's where God intended me to be -- in the right place at the right time," Battle said.

Authorities are trying to figure out how the girl got through the gate to get to the pool.

"From what I understand, apparently, she was with an aunt and apparently that aunt was not looking after her or taking care of her like she was supposed to," Battle said.

Wednesday was Battle's first day with the NCCU Police Department. He previously worked for the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department.

The name of the girl has not been released. Battle said he has not been contacted by the girl's family.

The incident remains under investigation by the Durham Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division.

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