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DETAILS ON DEATH AT KENEY PARK POOL

DETAILS ON DEATH AT KENEY PARK POOL

HARTFORD, CONN (July 4, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin, Police Chief David Rosado, and Kim Oliver, Director of the Department of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation (DFCYR), discussed the circumstances of the tragic death of a juvenile in Keney Park pool overnight. 

“The overnight drowning of a young man in Keney Park pool is a tragedy for our community, and our hearts and our prayers are with his family and his friends today,” said Mayor Bronin.  “While an investigation is ongoing, we are providing the public with everything we know at this point.  We are working together as a city to identify anything and everything we can do to try to prevent tragedies like this in the future, and we also ask that kids and parents please, please do not try to use city pools after hours.” 

“On behalf of the Hartford Police Department, I want to extend our condolences to this young man’s friends and family,” said Chief Rosado.  “Last year, we installed a camera system at each outdoor pool as an added measure to prevent use of the pools after hours, but in this case the modem associated with the camera at Keney Park’s pool was not working due to extreme heat conditions.  Yesterday, we had diagnostic work done on that camera, but it was not operational until earlier today.  As of this afternoon, the camera system is back up at Keney Park pool and the cameras at other outdoor city pools continue to work.”

“As a Department, our first mission is to do everything we can to keep our young people safe, and we are heartbroken by the death of this young man,” said Kim Oliver.  “Every night, including last night, our staff closes our pool complexes and locks them.  Keney Park’s pool complex is surrounded by a ten-foot fence.  I urge everyone in the community to remember that it’s unsafe to be in any of our pools after hours, and to especially remind our children of how dangerous it is to swim after hours.”

The Keney Park pool complex will be closed until at least Friday.  The indoor pool at Parker Memorial Community Center will be open tomorrow, Thursday, July 5th, from noon until 7 PM.

Background information on last night’s incident:

  • At approximately 12:44 AM today, dispatch received a call about a person who had been missing since approximately 1:30 PM in the afternoon on Tuesday, July 3rd.  Officers were sent to 1450 Main Street, which is in the Clay Arsenal neighborhood, where the caller said they were.  A patrol responded to the area but was not able to make contact with the individual who made the call.

  • At approximately 2:02 AM this morning, dispatch received a second call from the original caller about what they thought was a body in Keney Park pool.  Officers responded to Keney Park pool where they met a group of young people.  The Hartford Fire Department and American Medical Response were called to the scene.

  • Once inside the pool area, a body was observed in the deep end of one of Keney Park’s pools.  Hartford Fire Department personnel retrieved the victim and began CPR.  The victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

  • In interviews with police officers, the victim’s friends said they had been swimming in the pool after it had closed when one member of the group said they believed police were coming.  The group then fled the pool and Keney Park.  Officers were not on their way to the pool at that time.  After leaving Keney Park, friends said they realized the victim was missing, and began searching for him.  The initial location at 1450 Main Street was the home of the victim. 

  • Keney Park’s pool hours are between noon and 7 PM, and it is staffed by lifeguards.  After 7 PM, the entrance to the pool complex is locked.  The complex is surrounded by a ten-foot fence. 

  • Last year as an added precaution, the City installed cameras at its outdoor public pools, including technology to alert dispatchers when the perimeter of the pool complexes are breached after hours.  The camera was not working at Keney Park pool last night; Keney Park pool opened this past Monday, July 2nd.  Yesterday, the City had a vendor perform off-site diagnostic work to try and fix that camera and a handful of others that were not operating properly in the city.  They were able to fix some cameras, but not the camera at Keney Park pool.

  • This morning there was work done on site at Keney Park pool, and it was determined that the camera failed because its modem was in a room that was extremely hot, causing it to malfunction.  The camera system at Keney Park pool is now operational.  The cameras at the other outdoor pools are also operational. 

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