News

Actions

No charges for Florida teens who taunted drowning disabled man

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Teens mock drowning man
GRAPHIC VIDEO: Teens mock drowning man
GRAPHIC VIDEO: Teens mock drowning man
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2018-06-22 13:30:40-04

COCOA, Fla. (AP) - Florida prosecutors say they aren't charging a group of teens who taunted a drowning disabled man and recorded his death.

State Attorney Phil Archer released a statement Friday announcing his office's decision not to criminally charge four juveniles and one adult for failing to help 31-year-old Jamel Dunn at a Cocoa retention pond last July.

Archer pointed out that no Florida law requires a person to provide emergency assistance under the facts of this case. Such a law was proposed during this year's state legislative session but failed to pass.

Dunn's death received international attention last year after a viral video showed the teens laughing at him as he drowned.

Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe initially said no laws were broken but said several days later a misdemeanor charge of failing to report a death might apply.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


GRAPHIC VIDEO: Teens mock drowning man

COCOA, FL (WESH/CNN) - Cell phone video posted on social media shows a Florida man drowning in a pond and has the voices of teens who stood by recording and mocking him and laughing.

No one called for help, and the man died.

Police call the teens' actions "beyond heartless."

The video shows Jamel Dunn, 31, his head barely visible, getting into deeper and deeper water July 9.

Five teenagers were recording it, and in the background here is some of what is heard: "We're not gonna help your (expletive). Shouldn't have got in. Let him drown, what the heck."

Police say they don't know why Dunn entered the water. But when he did, the teens were watching him from a bank.

Yvonne Martinez of the Cocoa Police Department said: "Laughed at him, told him that they weren't going to help him or rescue him, and taunted and laughed at him the entire time."

"You gotta understand." "You shoulda never got in there!"

Rondanielle Willams, the dead man's fiancée, said: "It broke my heart for someone to just sit there, of age, to know if someone needs help - they're crying out for help in the video - and you just do nothing."

Williams was at the retention pond five days later when Dunn's body was found.

"How could nothing in your heart tell you not to do anything when someone's crying out for help and you're telling them you're not going to help them," Williams said.

The state attorney's office released a statement condemning the video but saying prosecutors could find no law that had been violated.

The five teens who made and posted the video have been identified and interviewed, but there is no formal punishment.

Copyright 2017 WESH via CNN. All rights reserved.