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Teen lifeguards heralded as 'heroic' for treating Hopkins Park stabbing victims

DeKALB – Lifeguards at Hopkins Pool were heralded as “impressive and heroic,” by DeKalb Park District staff, as video shows teenage lifeguards rushing to the aid of victims involved in an alleged hate-crime incident outside the Hopkins Pool on June 5.

The 17-minute video, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, is from the north door of the pool area. Video shows Jeremy Lloyd walking away from a group of boys, just before they catch up and a fight breaks out.

In the video, one of the victims is seen running away from the scene, visibly injured, and wraps a piece of clothing around his leg. He then lays on the ground, surrounded by other teenagers and children. First responders arrived on scene within five minutes, and were followed by a second ambulance three minutes later, the video shows. DeKalb police are seen walking into the scene within 10 minutes. The victim on the ground is placed onto a stretcher by DeKalb emergency medical technicians after 15 minutes, video shows.

A June 6 email sent to pool staff by Greg Bruggeman, superintendent of recreation at the park district, commends the 16- to 21-year-old lifeguards who responded immediately as the fight begins.

“As much as we prepare you to respond to active saves, spinals, unconscious guests in distress, and first aid, there is nothing we can really teach you to prepare you for something like this,” Bruggeman said in his email. “Incidents like this are saddening and tragic. 25 years ago I started as a 15-year old lifeguard and know this would have impacted me.”

Bruggeman called pool staff “impressive and heroic,” and said he would offer pool staff resources through the district’s Employee Assistance Program. Bruggeman said he also instructed DeKalb police to ban all involved in the incident from the park.

Three teenage boys were wounded in the incident. Prosecutors say they suffered slash wounds at the hands of Lloyd, 18, of the 800 block of West Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb, who initially faced several assault charges. Those charges were dropped, with DeKalb County prosecutors instead asking he be charged with a hate crime. Authorities say Lloyd, who is white, repeatedly referred to black boys in the fight using a racial slur.

Lloyd faces two to five years in prison if convicted.

Two of the injured boys, who were wearing swimming trunks at the time, were sent to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, and the mother of one of the injured boys said her 15-year-old son underwent surgery for a slash wound which cut his knee to the bone.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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