Jamel Dunn, 31-year-old, Cocoa, Fla. drowned in a retention pond in the city of Cocoa on July 9. Five teenagers recorded and mocked the drowning of Jamel Dunn, according to Cocoa Police.
The video was released by the state attorney’s office Thursday. The teens can be heard laughing at Dunn.
Police said that Dunn walked into the pond by himself, according to reports. Police aren’t sure if he was suicidal but said he just had an argument with his fiancee. Dunn’s body wasn’t found until July 14.
Police have since identified and interviewed the five teens who apparently stood by and did nothing. While Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cataloupe said that while their actions were “utterly inhumane and cruel,” criminal charges will not be filed because state law doesn’t require people to give or call for help when someone is in distress.
However, authorities have since changed their minds and will be pressing charges against the teens, according to Fox News.
Florida’s News 13 reported that Cantaloupe didn’t specify the exact statute that the teens would be charged under, nor did he divulge their identities, as the investigation is still ongoing, but confirmed that the boys ranged in age from 14 to 16-years-old.
It is believed that the statute used will be one typically reserved for medical examiners and the like that requires the official reporting of a known death. A charge under that statute would be a misdemeanor.
“It will be kind of a test case,” Cantaloupe admitted. “As far as we know, the statute has never been used in this way.”
The chief also seemed to hint that he would like to see legislation put forward to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future, and stated, “We don’t want another family have to go through what the Dunn family has went through.”
Had one of the boys called authorities to request help for the drowning man, he very well could have been saved from dying, in the opinion of the chief.
This was most likely a preventable tragedy, and the callous and heartless manner in which the teens brutally mocked and refused to help the disabled drowning man is monstrous.
Video Credit: CNN/Youtube