Deputies: South Carolina teen on vacation in Florida charged after toddler in her care nearly drowns

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A South Carolina teenager vacationing with her family in Florida was arrested over the weekend after deputies say a child in her care nearly drowned in a pool.


According to an incident report, Lake County deputies responded to a 911 call from the child’s mother reporting a medical emergency involving the two-year-old at a vacation rental home in Clermont.

Lake County Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived to find the child unconscious from an apparent drowning incident. The toddler was flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando and remains in critical condition in their pediatric Intensive Care Unit, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Investigators identified the only adult in the home at the time as 18-year-old Dynasty Hicks. Deputies noted Hicks and her family originated from South Carolina and were in Lake County for vacation.

According to the sheriff’s office, Hicks was tasked with watching several children during a “pre-planned outing” and was warned to keep an eye on the toddler, noting the child was not allowed in the pool and shouldn’t be left outside alone. Deputies say the other children in the home ranged in age from five months to 15 years old.

The victim’s mother told deputies she was gone for approximately 20 minutes when she received a “Facetime” call from Hicks showing the unconscious child, then called 911 herself.

Investigators say they checked multiple cameras throughout the home and recovered several 30-second video clips from one that monitored the pool area.

According to the incident report, the video clips show as many as five children under the age of 10 in the pool without supervision. Of the 10, 30-second clips they reviewed, investigators say Hicks is only seen twice.

In the first video, deputies say Hicks is seen exiting the home as two young children are in the pool and appears to take a “selfie” with her phone before going back into the house.

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In the second video showing Hicks, the victim can also be seen running around the edge of the pool before the child falls and hits their head on the deck.

According to the sheriff’s office, Hicks can be seen reaching down to pick the child up, but “for whatever reason” doesn’t do so before the clip ends. Deputies noted the victim wasn’t in swimming attire as the other children were at the time.

Another video clip shows the victim playing with a small toy bucket while sitting on a shallow-entry ledge at the deep-end of the pool.

Investigators say the very next clip shows the victim apparently lifeless, face-down in the deep-end of the pool while four other kids were “horse-playing” in the shallow end.

“After an extended period of time” deputies say a seven-year-old child in the pool noticed the toddler and called Hicks for help. Deputies noted Hicks then chose to facetime the victim’s mother instead of calling 911.

The responding deputies said Hicks had “no remorse” after the incident and didn’t seem to be concerned about the child’s condition.

When asked whether she was asked to watch the child and remembered being told not to let them into the pool, Hicks said “I do not recall.”

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When asked where she was during the incident, Hicks said she was in her room, which deputies noted was on the farthest side of the home from the pool.

Hicks was arrested and booked into the Lake County Jail on a charge of child neglect causing great bodily harm, a second-degree felony.

She has since been released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

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