Shoplifting suspect nearly drowns in Wichita retention pond

Ted Woodward
August 23, 2019 - 2:09 pm

Steve Gibbs / Getty Images Plus


A teenage girl, suspected for shoplifting, nearly drowned in W. Wichita.

On Thursday evening, some people shoplifted items at the Kohl's department store in E. Wichita on N. Rock Road. They then went to the west Kohl's location near Kellogg & Ridge. A male suspect and a 16-year-old girl were about to walk out of the store with clothing worth more than $1,000, without paying, when they were confronted by Kohl's employees. The suspects dropped the clothes, then ran into the parking lot.

The male suspect got away, but the girl ran into a nearby retention pond, swam to the middle, then said she couldn't swim. She came back to a shallow area, but then made a second attempt to swim accross the pond. While swimming, she went under, and could not be seen.

Two police officers dove into the water, swimming to her last-known location. They located her under the water and brought her to the surface -- she was unresponsive and not breathing. Back on dry land, officers performed CPR on the girl, until EMS crews arrived. The girl was revived.

The two officers who rescued her became violently ill after swimming in the bacteria-filled water; they were treated at the hospital and released.

The girl was hospitalized in critical condition.


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