West Virginia mom admits to nearly drowning son
A West Virginia toddler is clinging to life at Children's Hospital because his mother tried to drown him in a bathtub in a Green Tree hotel, police said.
Steven Flanagan, 2, had no brain function and multiple bruises Tuesday, two days after the incident at the Best Western Parkway Center Inn, police said.
Allegheny County detectives charged his mother, Sharon Flanagan, 33, of Inwood, with attempted homicide, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment for assaulting her child in a hotel room. The arrest was made because Flanagan offered different versions of the incident, police said.
The boy's unidentified father was in West Virginia at the time of the incident.
“Things didn't seem right,” Lt. Andrew Schurman said. “We started interviewing people, and it became obvious that it was more than just an accident.”
Flanagan first told police the boy was swimming and ended up face-down. She told police she couldn't remove him from the tub.
Flanagan said she stopped in initial rescue efforts because of back pain. She put on a back brace before trying to remove the boy but could not pull him from the water. She then said a wash cloth lodged in the drain, and she held the child's chin above the water while removing that.
Detectives said Flanagan never asked about her son or requested to see him during her first interview.
In a second interview, Flanagan said she grabbed her son by the arm and leg as he submerged, but she was unable to pull him from the water, police said.
“She felt like something was actually pulling him towards the bottom of the tub,” police said.
Other hotel guests called 911 when they found Flanagan screaming and running up and down the hallway, police said. A security guard and hotel guests pulled the boy from the bathtub and began resuscitation until paramedics arrived.
Flanagan is being held in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 12.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Carrick crime ‘blitz’ shows early signs of success
- Pittsburgh nonprofit 412 Food Rescue takes surplus food to needy
- Legislators, Wolf agree on one thing: Higher work zone fines
- Alpine touring skiing movement faces uphill climb in Western Pa.
- Pittsburgh police deliver 2,500 Thanksgiving meals through program
- Century Inn owner hopes to reopen Washington County landmark, gutted by fire, by end of next year
- Pet chiropractic more popular in Western Pa., but doubts linger
- Newsmaker: Kostas Pelechrinis
- Security policies limit ‘insider threat’ at airports, TSA says
- Penn Hills school board unanimously fires former business director
- Higher cost of turkey doesn’t stop dinners in Western Pa.