'Pool hopping' turns deadly in Hartford over holiday

Authorities said "pool hopping" is an issue in Hartford (WFSB)

Authorities are trying to crack down on a pool problem in Hartford.

It’s called “pool hopping,” when groups of kids hop fences and swim in city pools after hours.

This week, a teenager drowned when he and his friends did just that at Keney Park.

Both the mayor and police chief have urged kids to stay away from city pools after hours.

“It’s just all kids do it. We do it to have fun to cool down,” said Makayla Torres, of Hartford, who has participated in “pool hopping” twice. “It would be really hot. My boyfriend and I, we’ll go six maybe 10 of us go pool hopping.”

Right now though, she said she and her peers are not breaking any rules.

“People are scared, frightened, especially if they don’t know how to swim they won’t go pool hopping,” she said.

On Tuesday night, 16-year-old Jaevon Whyte drowned at the pool at Keney Park.

The pool remained closed on Thursday, but the shallow pool will reopen on Friday at noon. The deeper pool will remain closed for a few days.

The indoor pool at Parker Memorial Community Center will return to operating at noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

His family said he didn’t know how to swim.

The CEO & president of the YMCA of Greater Hartford said it’s their mission to teach kids to swim in Hartford.

Right now, registration is open for a learn to swim program. It’s free for kids 5 to 9 years old who are from Hartford.

“We taught about 1,000 kids to swim within the YMCA on the north and south end of Hartford. Those lessons are absolutely free and we have another session opening up soon,” said Harold Sparrow, CEO and President of the YMCA Greater Hartford.

Last year the YMCA Greater Hartford taught 6,000 kids to swim.

For more information on the program, click here.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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