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Man who tried to drown himself sues lifeguard and police officers who rescued him

A man, who was stopped from killing himself has sued the people who saved him. Mateusz Fijalkowski, an assistant manager at a pool in Fairfax, Virginia is suing police officers and a lifeguard for not rescuing him early enough when he drowned himself.

The 23-year-old man, who was having a bipolar episode at the time of the incident said in his lawsuit, that eight officers stopped a a lifeguard from helping him until he sunk.

 Fijalkowski who is suing for $100, 000 said:

The police allowed me to sink before their eyes. I’m glad that in the end they realised that they shouldn’t let me drown, but I don’t thank them for letting me die, clinically, before their eyes.
According to The Washington Post, Mr Fijalkowski came to the US from Poland through an international summer job programme. He was told he could work at a pool, despite not knowing how to swim. At the time, he had never had any mental health episodes. He began working as a pool attendant at the Riverside Apartments in Fairfax County on 26 May 2016, according to his suit, three days after his arrival. He was trained to clean the pool, arrange the deck chairs and check the water’s pH level.

On his third day of work, he began acting strangely. He started arguing with guests and talking to himself in Polish. After he ripped off one girl’s wristband and said she could not enter the pool, a lifeguard called the police.

When the police arrived, Mr Fijalkowski ignored them and kept blowing his pool whistle, according to the court filings. The police cleared patrons from the pool area. They brought a Polish-speaking officer and Mr Fijalkowski’s Polish-speaking roommate, both of whom he ignored. Instead, according to police reports, he kept shouting, “I am the lifeguard” and praying in Polish.

Twice, Mr Fijalkowski threw his mobile phone in the shallow end of the pool and retrieved it. He climbed the lifeguard tower, shouted and blew his whistle. Then he entered the pool a third time.

In a video taken by a bystander through the pool’s fence, Mr Fijalkowski can be seen walking slowly into the deep end until he is completely submerged under the eight-foot-deep water.
According to an account given by one officer and provided by the plaintiff, he then grabbed two vents on the bottom of the pool and held himself down.

In the video, Mr Fijalkowski is seen below the water for more than two-and-a-half minutes as officers walk around the pool and watch. Then Sean Brooks, Mr Fijalkowski’s supervisor and a lifeguard, jumps in and begins to pull him out.

Several police officers follow Mr Brooks into the water and are seen on video helping drag Mr Fijalkowski from the pool. They perform CPR for several minutes until emergency medical technicians arrive and revive Mr Fijalkowski with an electronic defibrillator.

Police contend that the officers acted appropriately to both save him and protect the lifeguard and themselves from a disturbed person.

Fairfax County Police chief Edwin Roessler said, "they saved his life, he did not die.  ...You’re going to sue someone for saving your life?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This man isn't serious!

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