HOUSTON — A young mother, who battles with mental illness, has been charged with child endangerment after investigators said the woman repeatedly dunked her infant son's head underwater until he lost consciousness.
Investigators said Jasmine Natasha Brittany, 22, and her 1-year-old son were at the Sunnyside Aquatic Center around 3:30 p.m. on June 3 when lifeguards instructed the mother several times to stop dunking her child into the water.
Officers said two lifeguards warned Brittany that the child was too young to hold his breath for the amount of time she was holding him under. Court documents claim Brittany submerged her child for 3 to 5 seconds, dunking the infant underwater at least 3 to 4 times.
Lifeguards and other witnesses claim the child was coughing and crying as his mother continued to submerge him, according to police. Officers said the mother held the child by the legs and arms as she scooped him into the water.
At one point, the mother allegedly stopped dunking the child and moved to a different area of the pool, where she was out of sight.
About 10 minutes later, lifeguards report hearing the child's grandmother scream for help. Acting fast, one of the lifeguards blew his whistle to activate the team's emergency activation plan. The life guard and the pool's manager immediately jumped into the water.
Investigators said the manager, Jason Cook, performed chest compressions, back blows and abdominal trusts until the child regained consciousness.
The infant was taken to Memorial Herman Hospital once emergency crews arrived.
According to court documents, Brittany suffers from depression, ADHD and bi-polar disorder. She visits a doctor every two months for counseling and medication, police said.
The mother allegedly told investigators that she is not not trying to blame the incident on her medication, but her mind "doesn't work like everybody else's and she did not think anything of it when her baby was taking in water."
A Child Protective Service report said the mother's actions "represent poor judgement and that it is unclear what she was feeling a that moment and whether she was intentionally causing harm."
Brittany was taken into custody after the incident.
No bond was set.