Hafis Kareem drowns in New Mark pool, officials say

5:45 PM, Jun 30, 2013   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- The New Mark Commons community pool in Rockville is closed today hours after 15-year-old Hafis Kareem drowned.

Ben Polster went out to see what was happening Saturday night after he heard cop cars rushing to the pool.  He tells WUSA the whole scene was crazy.  He said he watched when the paramedics came and said "I saw them give CPR."

Montgomery County Police say Kareem and some other kids jumped over the fence to get into the pool area late Saturday night.

We're told Kareem went under water and the others with him yelled for help, asking someone walking by to call 911.

The 15-year old was taken to the hospital where he died early Sunday morning.

His sister, Hamidat Kareem, doesn't understand why he was in the water because he didn't know how to swim.  She says "none of us know how to swim, so I don't know what happened, if they pushed him in.  We had a pool party here and he didn't swim, he just stood by the pool."

Police say there is nothing to indicate Kareem was pushed from their investigation.

We're told the kids were at the pool for about an hour before the incident happened - it's unclear what happened but police believe these were teenagers being teenagers.

Detectives talked to the friends and are calling it an accidental drowning.

The whole situation doesn't sit well with the family, who says the friends ran away after they called for help.  Hamidat tells us "they are not really his friends, real friends would stay with you and be there for you."

Residents tell us kids have snuck in before but nothing like this has happened. A new fence was put up we're told in the past couple of years, in part, to prevent things like this from happening.  

Mincy Neil, who has lived here for 27 years, says "kids do sneak in from time to time, we haven't had any incidents since we put the new fence in but apparently they got in that way."

It's a tragedy one family is now struggling to cope with.  Hamidat Kareem said "he was just an amazing person, I am going to miss him so much."

Montgomery County Police are still investigating but don't believe there was any foul play involved and don't expect any charges in this case.

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