DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A clerk magistrate on Wednesday ruled that there is probable cause to arraign a retired Massachusetts State Police captain and his wife on criminal charges in connection with a teenager’s drowning death at a graduation party in Dedham last month.
James Coughlin, the owner of a home on Netta Road where 17-year-old Alonzo Polk drowned on June 6, could face charges including reckless endangerment of a child and furnishing alcohol to minors, a Dedham District Court magistrate ruled during a pretrial hearing.
An attorney representing Coughlin and his wife told the court that Polk didn’t know how to swim and that he was pushed into an in-ground pool during the party by a friend who wasn’t aware he couldn’t swim.
Coughlin heard a commotion, ran to the pool, and tried to perform CPR on Polk, the couple’s attorney added.
A Dedham police officer who responded to the drowning told the court that the Coughlins were holding a party to celebrate their daughter’s graduation and that there were beer cans scattered around the pool. He also said that there was inadequate lighting in the pool area.
The couple’s attorney argued that the Coughlins didn’t intentionally create a substantial risk of harm to Alonzo but the magistrate ruled that the case will still move forward.
After being pulled from the pool, Polk was taken to a Boston hospital, where he passed away days later.
Polk, a former defensive back on the Dedham High School football team, is being remembered as a thoughtful, well-liked boy who loved his family.
The incident remains under investigation.
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