State senator working on “good Samaritan” law following Cocoa drowning video

Jamel Dunn drowned in a retention pond in the city of Cocoa on July 12.

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) —A Florida state senator is working on a “good Samaritan” law that is in response to five teenagers who laughed and recorded video as a Cocoa man drowned.

State Sen. Debbie Mayfield, whose 17th district covers parts of Brevard and Indian River counties, is hoping to introduce a law protecting people who act to help others.

Cocoa police officials said Wednesday that they had turned over the case to prosecutors. Police have recommended filing a misdemeanor charge of failure to report a death.

The teens, ages 14 to 18, are heard in the video laughing at 31-year-old Jamel Dunn as he drowned July 9 in a Cocoa retention pond.

Last week, Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe said an initial review of the case determined no laws were broken. However, Cantaloupe said further research showed the misdemeanor charge could apply even though it had never been applied “in a scenario like this one.”

State Attorney’s Office spokesman Todd Brown said there was no timetable for deciding whether to file charges.


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