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Boy, 4, falls from third-floor window at Sanibel resort

April 2, 2019
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

A child was taken to the hospital after reportedly falling out of a third-story window on Sanibel.

At about 2:14 p.m. March 31, the Sanibel Police Department responded to the Sanibel Island Beach Club, at 255 Periwinkle Way. The 911 caller had stated that a boy, 4, had fallen out of a window.

Upon arrival, police observed the boy lying on his back next to his parents, Melissa and Elizabeth Koch. He was crying and stated that he was having trouble breathing, according to the police report. Officers observed that the child's back and abdomen were red, but there was no external bleeding.

The boy was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The women told police that Melissa Koch and her son were in the master bedroom, while Elizabeth Koch was in another room. Melissa Koch was on the bed on her cell phone and the child was playing by the window holding a yellow shovel. Koch could not remember if the window was already open.

When Koch turned around for a moment, she heard the screen pop out and when she looked back, her son was no longer at the window and the screen was missing. She looked out it and saw him below.

According to the report, Elizabeth Koch was in another room when Melissa Koch ran out of the bedroom yelling, "He fell, he fell, call 911." The two ran downstairs and screamed for help. Melissa Koch picked the boy off of the ground, moved to a shaded area and placed him on a beach towel.

Police observed an imprint of a child's body in mulch directly beneath the open window. There was also a yellow, plastic sand shovel and a bent window screen. The frame of the screen appeared to have rust on it, which matched rust found on the window, and appeared to have broken at the rusted area.

There was no indication of alcohol or drug use inside the unit.

Officers noted in the report that it appeared the child had sat on the ledge of the window sill and may have leaned back, causing the rusted area of the frame to break and him to fall out of the window.

The boy was treated on scene by an ambulance before being transported. Hospital staff reported that he would be transferred to the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida for further observation.

Sanibel Police Chief William Dalton said a thorough investigation was conducted.

"There's nothing criminal," he said of the findings. "It simply looks like it was an accident."

"It seems to be just a genuine unfortunate accident," Dalton added.

It is only the second incident he can think of a child falling out of a window on Sanibel in 25 years.

"I'm just glad the little guy is doing better," Dalton said.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident.

DCF officials did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the case.



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