Louisiana Family Demands Justice For Son After He Was Allegedly Pushed Into A Lake While With Friends And Nearly Died

Louisiana Family Demands Justice For Son After He Was Allegedly Pushed Into A Lake While With Friends And Nearly Died | Photo: Sean Gladwell via Getty Images
Louisiana Family Demands Justice For Son After He Was Allegedly Pushed Into A Lake While With Friends And Nearly Died | Photo: Sean Gladwell via Getty Images

A mother in Louisiana wants local police to step in and arrest the person responsible for nearly causing the death of her son.

On April 14, Christopher Gilbert suffered severe brain damage after he nearly died after he had to be rescued from Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville, KSLA reported. The recent Louisiana Tech University master’s graduate was hanging out with some friends when one of them allegedly forced him into the water. Following the push, another friend attempted to get him since he stayed underwater but was unsuccessful. The young adult was under water for around 10 minutes when was rescued by an onlooker who was a customer at a nearby food stop. The unidentified hero gave the victim CPR until police officers arrived.

The 26-year-old’s mother, Yolanda George, and family claimed it was a known fact among her son’s circle of friends that he didn’t know how to swim. She shared in an interview with KTLA that she learned of the incident from a female friend of his who witnessed the physical assault.

“A friend of his called and she was hysterical crying. She told me that Chris has fell into the lake and he had been underwater for 10 minutes or so,” she told the news station.

Gilbert was flown to a Louisiana State University medical center for to be cared for. When George learned how serious her son’s injuries were, she was overcome with shock and sadness because she knew his dreams.

“The doctor called us in and told me that at that time, he was brain dead and the rest of his organs were starting to fail,” she said. “That we had 72 hours on the ECMO machine. It’s sort of like dialysis for the lungs and they had to put him on a ventilator.”

Initially, Gilbert’s mom opened up with KNOE and shared that he lost consciousness and had to be put on life support due to the accident. Eventually, he regained consciousness, was temporarily taken off life support and had to learn how to eat again. Due to the near-death injuries, Gilbert’s family is seeking help from the authorities to not just let this incident skate by. Claudia Payne, the family’s lawyer, disclosed to  KSLA that the group of friends originally told law officials that the LTU alumni accidentally fell in the water. After police looked further into the evidence, it was discovered that he was indeed pushed by an unnamed female friend.

“In the legal field, we characterize things the way we see fit. Of course, they are saying horseplay. We are saying that it was a criminal intentional push into the lake,” the attorney told KSLA.

On April 18, a Change.org petition was launched “to ensure Farmerville police department do their jobs and arrest the appropriate individuals involved in this tragedy.” The current goal for signatures is 5,000 and over 4,400 people have already signed it so far.

“While my office has been retained to represent the family civilly, nothing else is needed for any law enforcement agency within this jurisdiction to make an arrest,” Payne wrote. “Our office would like the community’s support in requesting that the Farmerville Police Department, and or the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office make an arrest of the known individual who pushed Chris into the lake.”