Mom's Failure to Call 911 When She Finds Her Toddlers Drowning Is Sad & Confusing

swimming poolAs a mom, I can't imagine the horror of finding the limp bodies of your two beautiful babies floating in a swimming pool. Panic? Shock? One would think the first priority of any parent would be to call 911 immediately, which is what makes the reaction of Tassie Anne Behrens of La Mesa, California, so difficult to understand. The 26-year-old mom woke up Monday morning at the home of a friend where she'd been staying for several days and walked outside to find her 2-year-old son Jason Bradford and 16-month-old daughter Harley Bradford in the pool. The children were unresponsive when pulled out of the water, so Behrens and a "man who lived at the house" reportedly put the babies in a black truck "with the intention of taking them to the hospital" -- but they didn't take them to the hospital. Instead, they took the kids to La Mesa fire station. WHAT?!

From there, the children were transported by ambulance to the hospital -- but why the hell didn't their mom go straight there?? Or call 911?!

Harley passed away at 10:27 a.m. Monday morning. Jason followed his little sister at 11:25 p.m. Monday night.

Apparently Behrens told investigators that she "drove the children for help" instead of calling 911 because she didn't want a "friend who lives at the house to get in trouble for not having a gate around his pool." And that's more important than saving her children's lives?! According to the authorities, she initially lied about where the kids were found, claiming it was a pool at Lamplighter Mobile Home Park. What gives??

Later that day, 44-year-old Larry Dangelo, a resident of the La Mesa home, was taken into custody by members of the regional Narcotics Task Force and booked on several charges, including possession of marijuana for sale and running a hash oil extraction lab. (Police don't think Dangelo is the same man who helped drive the kids to the fire station.) So clearly the people at that house had something to hide, and it had nothing to do with a gate around the pool. I also have a feeling there was a lot more to hide than some pot and hash oil. But that still doesn't really explain why a mother would be more concerned with getting her friend in trouble than saving her kids. At least not to me.

Why do you think this mom chose not to call 911?


Image via Beatrice Murch/Flickr

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Chandra Haverstock

obviously she didn't call 911 because of all the illegal things going on at the house. Perhaps she felt if she called the authorities to the house, her life would be in danger from the occupants. The strange reaction to what happened and the extremely young age of the kids makes me wonder if they went into the pool on their own. Those poor kids. Sounds like they had an unstable life from the get go.

mande... manderspanders

Although I absolutely do not agree with the mother's actions, the reality is that no one knows how long those kids were submerged... and the fact of the matter is that if they were to be "saved" they would likely have trachs (maybe vents), feeding tubes, and if there was any awareness at all, communication would be difficult at best.  If they would have come out 'fine', that would be the rare miracle.  The one thing that I hate about modern society is the idea that everyone can be saved, and when they are they return to the same person/life they had... that just doesn't happen; it is such a truly rare occurrance.  I know because I work with chronically disabled, medically fragile, technology dependent children.

The mother should be held responsible for neglect and their deaths; but the sad reality is that if this is what she did in the situation, it is unlikely she could have adequately cared for her children if they were permenantly disabled and technology dependent.

The whole thing is horrific all the way around.

bills... billsfan1104

I do not agree with what she did or her excuse for it, but to me, taking them to the fire dept, was a wiser choice than straight to the hospital. The fireman can use their equipment and sirens to get them to the hospital quicker

youth... youthfulsoul

The report I saw on the news was it was her home and had a full fledged pot growing operation going on. But ya, call 911. More importantly, why are two kids that age wandering around without supervision, especially if there's a pool with no gate in the vicinity. As a parent it's your job to be hyper vigilant on your children's behalf.


Hey Bills! Yeah that's what I was thinking.

lalab... lalaboosh

Wow. I'd say she's a tweaker with that kind of attempt at a cover up. There would be no reason for EMTs to enter the home if the kids are outside and laws enforcement would need a warrant to go inside. She got too paranoid after she fucked up. Poor babies, I can't imagine the horror they felt as they drowned. Poor, poor babies!

Rosemary Navarrete

It's obvious she was hiding the activities at the home. Maybe she was high too. People like her don't deserve kids period!!

LoveM... LoveMyKBabies

I would find a way to simultaneously perform CPR & call 911. I don't care if the person has been my best friend since the hospital nursery & they would face 20+ years in prison. My kids lives are more important.

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