Weather Updates

Police officers save Jackson Park toddler who nearly drowned in tub

Updated: March 19, 2014 12:25AM

Two Chicago police officers helped save the life of a two-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a bathtub Sunday afternoon in the Jackson Park neighborhood.

A 28-year-old mother was bathing the toddler in her home in the 6700 block of South East End. She briefly stepped away to grab a dry towel and told her other son, age 7, to keep an eye on the boy. Moments later, the boy began to yell and the mother rushed back to find the two-year-old partially submerged in the bathtub, not breathing, Chicago Police Lieutenant Steven Sasso said.

The mother began administering CPR and was able to revive the child, but only for a moment, Sasso said.

Two Chicago police officers arrived and took over giving CPR to the boy. Officer Marko Kokic put his finger under the boy’s nose. “It was cold,” he said. His partner, Officer Slawomir Novak, began chest compressions on the boy. About 30 seconds later, the boy came around.

“His eyes had been in the back of his head. They rolled forward and he started taking breaths again, like a jolt,” Kokic said. The boy seemed okay, and didn’t begin crying until paramedics arrived and began evaluating the boy. “He was trying to get away from them,” Kokic said.

Novak, 29, who’s served for less than two years, handled CPR duties because he was certified.

“It’s one of those things you never see coming,” Kokic said. “You train for all kinds of things as a police officer, but you never expect to be in that situation.”

The officers both work out of the 3rd District police station, 7040 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

“It was cool ... but, no, I don’t think I’m a hero,” said Kokic, 34, an eight-year police veteran.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.