Thursday, September 07, 2000

City filling deadly pool

Boy reached for a frog and slipped, lawyer says

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — City workers began filling in Rosedale Pool on Wednesday — one week after a young boy drowned there, and three years after residents began complaining that the closed, flood-damaged facility was a hazard.

[photo] Rock is dumped to begin filling the Rosedale Pool where 6-year-old Dylan Roberts drowned last week.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Criticism over the pool's condition and its maintenance mounted last Thursday, after divers pulled the body of 6-year-old Dylan Roberts from 7 feet of murky rainwater that had accumulated in the deep end of the Latonia pool.

        On the night Dylan died, he and a 6-year-old playmate crawled through a hole in the 8-foot fence surrounding the pool, said Eric Deters, the lawyer who is representing the boy's parents. He said Dylan reached to catch a frog, when he slipped and fell in the water.

        “I'm glad the city's finally doing something,” said Latonia resident Kathy Riddle, 43, who watched as public works crews began dumping fill dirt in the pool Wednesday morning. “But this should have been done a long time ago.”

        Her husband, Jim Riddle, 46, agreed.

        “It's just a shame it had to take that little boy's life to get the city on the move,” Mr. Riddle said.

        On Wednesday, a steady succession of dump trucks packed with fill dirt and large stones drove down Virginia Avenue, headed for the pool bordering Rosedale Mobile Home Park. Geoff Warneford, director of Covington's general services department, said that he expects the job to be finished on Friday.

[photo] Visitors look over a memorial to Dylan Roberts outside Rosedale Pool.
| ZOOM |
        Covington City Commission authorized the work on Tuesday, after more than 750 residents petitioned them to fill in the pool, fix up Rosedale Park, and rename it for Dylan Roberts.

        Residents watching the work Wednesday complained that the city recently removed Rosedale Park's basketball courts, tennis courts and swings, leaving children in the neighborhood with no place to play. They also were concerned that a month after the equipment was removed, some of the poles, nets and fencing still lie in the park.

        Mr. Warneford said city workers recently removed play equipment from Rosedale Park because it did not meet federal Consumer Product Safety guidelines. He added other items were removed because Denny Bowman, director of Covington's recreation department, did not think they were getting enough use.

        “We haven't exactly figured out what we'll do with those items,” Mr. Warneford said Wednesday. “That's something we'll have to address after we get the pool filled.”

        Mr. Deters said Dylan's parents have not yet decided whether to sue the city.

        “It all boils down to one word: responsibility,” he said. “The city will decide whether there's litigation or not. They expressed sympathy Tuesday night, but they didn't say, "This is our fault.' If the city accepts fault for this, and authorizes their attorney to negotiate (a monetary settlement) with me on behalf of Dylan's family, there won't be any litigation.”

Hundreds pay respects to slain officer
Visitation held for 12-year-old
Funeral details
Grieving for a policeman
Girl has no right to sue
Two school districts awarded Gates grants
- City filling deadly pool
Girl's lawyer blasts police
PULFER: A disabled child
New Fenwick High planners get go-ahead to raise money
Report critical of port authority
KNIP'S VIEW: National spotlight focuses on Cincinnati
Daughter stands in for Gore
Economists deride Gore's plan for 'rainy day' fund
Ag society fair game in lawsuit over prize pig
Boone backs off ban on underground mining
Burglary suspect caught within hours
Cost grows for flood plan along Duck Creek
County group has new leader
Couple faces gun charges
Dad's statement in baby's death allowed
Engineer staff complains to county
Father loses bid to squelch statement
Halls overflow with potential pets
Hamilton County GOP endorses city school levy
High court asked for new Justin ruling
Ind. town awash in arts, crafts, fun events
'Inherit the Wind' debate fresh again
Key Foundation celebration to be benefit, too, as usual
Lunken charter jet firm backs off threat to leave
Mules and Model A cars join Harvest Home Fair
N. Ky. boosters raise money
New Middletown sirens wail on cue
Runway study won't be ready this year
Second Street delayed again
Taft challenges community to help students learn to read
Turfway effort boosts betting
Vandals get probation, must pay $80K for damage
Village contracts garbage pickups
Get to it
Kentucky News Briefs
Pig Parade/Sheakin' Bacon
Tristate A.M. Report