AUGUSTA — Police on Tuesday charged the father of a 2-year-old boy who nearly drowned in the Kennebec River with endangering the welfare of a child.

Christopher Norwood, 31, of Augusta, was charged with the class D misdemeanor after Augusta police Detective Tori Tracy completed her investigation into the Sept. 16 incident.

The state Department of Health and Human Services has been involved in the investigation since it began and has been working to ensure the child’s safety, according to a Jared Mills, the city’s deputy police chief.

Mills said the child was released from the hospital “to a safe location designated by DHHS,” which he said, to his knowledge, was not in the custody of his parents. He said Tuesday the child’s parents have been cooperating with DHHS to make sure that he is safe.

The 2-year-old boy was rescued from the river by a passer-by, Sean Scanlon, who was at the east side boat landing alongside the river when he was alerted by people yelling from the opposite side of the river that something was wrong. He said the boy, wearing only a hoodie and a diaper, was floating face-down in the river and turning blue. Scanlon, of Dresden, said he jumped in, grabbed him and brought him to the riverbank, where he started chest compressions. Scanlon said his 4-year-old son directed first responders to him and the boy on the riverbank.

Augusta Fire and Rescue arrived to take over life-saving care.

The boy was revived and taken to the hospital. He has since been released from the hospital.

Norwood is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Nov. 21, according to Mills.

“Mr. Norwood was not at the East Side Boat Landing at the time of the incident and (was) at a location far enough away that he could not provide the proper care to ensure the safety of a 2-year-old child,” Mills said.

He added, “I am ecstatic that the 2-year-old child is doing well and I am thankful that the witnesses in this case took action to save his life.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj