FORMER WWE superstar Shad Gaspard died saving his 10-year-old son from a swimming accident in Venice Beach, California nearly two years ago.
The 6ft 7in tall wrestler can be heard shouting “Save my son, save my son!” as he struggled to stay afloat in the eight-foot waves, tossing the boy to safety.
Gaspard was eventually dragged with a deadly riptide and drowned, lifeguard Thomas Swift said in newly filed court documents.
In the end, Gaspard’s son, Aryeh, who followed AG, was saved.
However, Gaspard’s wife, Siliana, has filed false claims against the City and County of Los Angeles and the state of California, alleging “dangerous conditions” at Venice Beach and “negligence.”
Siliana said there weren’t enough signs to warn the 39-year-old wrestler and AG of “danger or risk” of swimming there.
She also accused rescuers of being slow to respond, understaffed and poorly trained.
LA County refuted her claims, arguing that there were numerous warnings about flows and other risks. They confirmed that the lifeguards were properly trained and equipped.
LA officials filed a petition, asking the LA Superior Court to issue a “summary sentence” to clear them of any wrongdoing in Gaspard’s death.
In support of that motion, Swift offered her nasty explanation of what happened on May 17, 2020, in a statement to the court.
DECLARATION OF FEMALE BILLS
Swift, a 30-year lifeguard veteran, said the conditions were so bad that he and another lifeguard had to rescue six other swimmers that day.
There are strong currents and waves as high as 8 feet with surf lengths of 4 to 6 feet.
Swift said in a four-page statement: “I saw two individuals about 200 meters south of my location approaching the surf beach and observed a set of waves about 4-8 feet crashing. arrive.
“After the third wave in the series, I observed these two individuals [who he later found out were Gaspard and AG] leave their feet and they begin to drift north in a horizontal current moving at about 5-10 knots.
“I immediately called Santa Monica Headquarters that I was going out to assist these two. I took my lifeboat and based on my experience and training I ran the fourth diagonal in the direction the stream would end. [Gaspard] and AG to try to cut them out. I got into the water with at least one swim fin and started dolphin diving and swam to Gaspard and AG. ”
“When I was about 20 feet from Gaspard and AG, a huge wave approximately 6 meters high with lots of water was approaching.”
Swift said that when the wave was about to descend, he saw Gaspard use his shoulder to push AG closer to the direction of the lifeguards.
Soon after, the wave hit the top of Gaspard as white water from the wave pulled Swift and AG below “and kept everyone underwater for a few seconds”.
When he surfaced, Swift swam to AG and gave him her rescue can, telling him to hold on to try to stabilize the child. Then Swift tries to help Gaspard.
“When the next wave hit, AG dropped the lifeboat. I took back the rescue can and gave it back to AG. After the second wave hit, I lost track of Gaspard.
“It was clear to me that AG was disoriented and that he would not be able to hold onto the lifeboat in rough seas… I determined that I would not be able to swim out to Gaspard’s position and at the same time keep AG safe. whole. . ”
Swift said that due to “rough” ocean conditions and the child’s inability to hold onto a rescue can, he decided to bring AG to shore before helping Gaspard.
“Based on these conditions, I judge that if I hadn’t brought AG back to shore, he would have died.”
Swift hands the boy over to two rescue volunteers before diving back to try and save Gaspard.
“I swam to the sea, where I thought there would be Gaspard,” he said. “As I swim, I can see two surfers ahead of me and about 20 years to my left, rowing towards Gaspard in an attempt to assist.”
Swift said the surfers got to Gaspard first, telling him they were with Gaspard for about 10 to 15 seconds before descending.
“They reported they were pushing their board towards Gaspard but she seemed disoriented, didn’t cling to their board and just kept saying, ‘save my son, save my son.'”
Swift said he and another lifeguard had dived several times to find the wrestler. A lifeboat and many other lifeguards joined the search but could not find him.
He was swept out to sea and his lifeless body was found near the shore.
‘LETHER TO DIE’
But Siliana Gaspard shared a different story in her lawsuit, claiming that when rescuers “saw Shad and AG struggling underwater, they didn’t do anything for a period of time.” unreasonable and negligent”.
She claimed the rescuers eventually got into the water but “did not have the proper equipment for their mission to assist underwater people like Shad Gaspard and AG,” she claimed.
She said the rescuers “elected to just support the AG and leave Shad Gaspard in the water to die.”
Siliana also claimed that lifeguards at Venice Beach were “recklessly understaffed”, lacking proper training and supervision.
“The defendant’s activities or lack of them increased the severity of the situation at the scene, which resulted in the death of Shad Gaspard,” reads the court document.
Daniel Murphy, Chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Services Division, countered Siliana’s claims.
He said that “a diving team, multiple rescue units, lifeboats, helicopters, private watercraft, Baywatch Del Rey and Baywatch Malibu were deployed to search for Mr. They were unable to locate him.
Murphy also listed many signs such as “WARNING – CURRENT RIP’S CAUTION” and “RESURE OF OPEN OCCASION and SWIMMING / SURF IN YOUR POSSIBLE” displayed at Venice Beach.
Gaspard is best known for his time in WWE, where he performed on the Cryme Tyme tag team with partner JTG. He quit wrestling in 2011 to start an adept career.
He was on Get Hard in 2015 with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
Many wrestlers paid tribute to Gaspard following the news of his death at the time.
Former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said, “Shad drowned in the ocean, but not before instructing lifeguards to rescue his son first. Such is the love of a father.”
The next court date for Siliana’s case is May 17 – the two-year anniversary of her husband’s death.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4862017/shad-gaspard-final-words-wrongful-death/ WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard’s heartbreaking final words as he rescues his son before being dragged along by a deadly riptide