Child dies after being found unresponsive at Palmdale park; father arrested

Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a 3-year-old boy who was found unresponsive Wednesday morning at Melville J. Courson Park.

Palmdale Sheriff's station deputies responded to the park on 10th Street East for a medical emergency call about a child not breathing. When deputies arrived on scene, they contacted the father of the child who said his son had suddenly suffered from a medical emergency at the park. The child was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

During the investigation, homicide detectives spoke with the father of the child, Schaffer Grindstaff, 29, who was subsequently arrested for child endangerment. 

According to a source, authorities are working to determine whether the young boy overdosed on drugs. The cause of death at this time is unknown and will be determined by the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office.

"[This park] is dangerous," said Elizabeth Bautista. "We come here a lot. It’s the only park we have right now. It’s sad."


After authorities left the scene, several homeless people moved in. Bautista says she sees things at the park that make her feel unsafe.

"There’s a lot of activity that shouldn’t be typically in a park," said Bautista.

According to a spokesperson from The City of Palmdale, "Preliminary reports from the LA County Sheriff’s Department indicate that no fentanyl was involved in this incident."

"My heart goes out to the family," said Bautista.