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Orange County

Father Held in His Girl's Near-Death

August 22, 2003|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A Garden Grove man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of felony child abuse in the Aug. 12 near-drowning of his 22-month-old daughter in a backyard swimming pool.

Thanh Hang Vu, 33, was supposed to be watching his two children at the family's home in the 10300 block of Hazard Street while his wife was at work, authorities said. He is accused of leaving the toddler in the care of her 5-year-old brother so he could go to the market.

The 5-year-old, however, got engrossed in computer games and forgot about his little sister, police said. It's believed that she wandered out an open sliding door and fell into the pool.

When the boy found her floating unconscious in the water some 20 minutes later, he used a broom to pull her to the side of the pool, then knocked on a closed bedroom door to awaken tenants, who called 911.

The girl was taken to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, where she remains in critical condition, according to Lt. Pat Thrasher of the Garden Grove Police Department.

Vu is being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is expected to be arraigned Monday at the West Justice Court.

Police said they arrested him at the Garden Grove apartment where he now resides.

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