AUGUSTA — Christopher Norwood, the local man whose 2-year-old boy nearly drowned in the Kennebec River — and whom police charged Tuesday with endangering the welfare of a child — released a statement through his attorney Thursday thanking the boy’s rescuers and asking the public to withhold judgment about the accident.

“This has been an extremely difficult experience, and Chris is extremely grateful for the actions of first responders and everyone who intervened to help his son,” wrote his attorney, Scott Hess, of Augusta. “Luckily, the child is doing very well and is expected to fully recover.”

Hess continued, “Although this was a very serious incident, it is important to keep in mind that not every accident is a crime. We are confident that this matter will reach an appropriate resolution in due course.”

Norwood, 31, was charged with the class D misdemeanor after the boy’s medical condition stabilized and Augusta police Detective Tori Tracy completed an investigation of the Sept. 16 incident.

Class D charges are punishable by up to 364 days in prison and a $2,000 fine.

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 was rescued by a passer-by, Sean Scanlon, of Dresden, who was at the East Side Boat Landing with his own son. Augusta Fire and Rescue took over the rescue when they arrived at the scene.

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 earlier this week.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.