Teen charged after pushing 8-year-old boy off 31-foot tall waterslide in Apple Valley, Minnesota

- An 18-year-old Maple Grove, Minnesota man has been charged with third-degree assault after allegedly pushing an eight-year-old boy over the railing of a waterslide platform at the Apple Valley Aquatic Center, causing the boy to fall more than 30 feet to the ground.

Police responded to the incident around 1:35 p.m. Tuesday, July 31. According to the criminal complaint, the man told police the line for the waterslide was taking too long, so he pushed the child over the railing and saw him fall.

The eight-year-old was taken to the hospital with multiple fractures to his feet, a broken femur and shattered bones in his shoulder.

The two did not have any prior interaction and did not know each other.

“There was no argument, no pushing, no shoving, no words exchanged, just this individual walking up and throwing this poor kid off the top,” said Apple Valley Police Capt. Nick Francis.

Investigators determined the platform the boy was standing on was 28.1 feet from the ground and the railing was 31.9 feet from the ground.

Capt. Francis says the 18-year-old man is developmentally delayed. An aide was with the 18-year-old at the pool, but it is unclear if the aide was with him in the waterslide line.

The city of Apple Valley released a statement Thursday outlining how an incident like this has never occurred in the facility's 20-year history. It also added it will help staff members and others who witnessed the event. 

The City is providing counseling services for staff members affected by the traumatic experience. We encourage others who were negatively impacted by this incident to seek assistance. The Aquatic Center welcomes patrons with a wide range of abilities. As part of our public service, there is no admission charge for personal care attendants. We thank the public for the many comments about the professional response of our staff. We continue to wish the child and his family a full and quick recovery.

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