COCOA, Fla. (CBSMiami) – Disturbing Cellphone video posted on social media shows a man drowning in a retention pond while five teens stand-by recording and laughing at him.
Jamel Dunn, 31, his head barely visible, got into deeper and deeper water on July 9th.
“We’re not gonna help your (expletive). Shouldn’t have got in. Let him drown, what the heck,” a teen is heard saying on the recording.
No one called for help and the man died.
Police call it “beyond heartless.”
“Everybody’s pretty much seen the video that’s going around. That video is disturbing it’s… I don’t even know if I can think of words that describe it,” said Cocoa Police Chief Michael Cantaloupe.
The teens, ranging in age from 14 and 18, recorded and mocked Dunn, who was crying out for help in a retention pond.
“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,” said Rondanielle Willams, Dunn’s fiancée.
Williams was there five days later when Dunn’s body was finally 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,” she said.
The video was released by the state attorney’s office Thursday and the audio portion of it was published by Florida Today.
Authorities previously said the teens wouldn’t be charged because Florida does not have a law that obligates a citizen to render aid or call for help for anyone in distress.
Dunn’s sister wants to change that.
“And I’m hoping to get a petition or some kind of legislation started and I would like to call it Dunn’s right to duty,” said Simone McIntosh. “Like, if you see some kind of assistance or crime going on, you should be obligated to help or either get help for them.”
But now police say they have found a statute that requires a person who witnesses a death to report it to a medical examiner.
“We’re going to charge the juveniles with the statute under 406, which is a misdemeanor, said Chief Cantaloupe. “Now, I want to make it clear, it is a misdemeanor, it’s not a misdemeanor exception, so we will not be making a physical arrest at this time.”
Police said the statute has never been applied in a case like this.
The state attorney’s office will ultimately decide whether charges are filed.
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