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Former Police Captain May Be Charged After Graduating High Schooler Drowns At His Home

A Massachusetts teen died only hours after his high school graduation. Now, a former state police captain may face charges related to the drowning.

By Jax Miller
Teen Drowns At Graduation Party, Former Police Captain May Be Charged

A 17-year-old boy has died only hours after graduating high school. Now, the family of Alonzo Polk is demanding answers, and a former State Police captain may be facing criminal charges.

Shortly after midnight on June 6, partygoers pulled Polk’s submerged body from a pool at 36 Netta Road in Dedham, Massachusetts. After several failed attempts by guests and first responders to revive the teen, Polk later died at a Boston hospital. Authorities are alleging that alcohol had been served to minors.

Police have not identified the accused but said that they’d filed a criminal complaint against the homeowners of the address. According to the Dedham Assessor’s Office, the home belongs to James Coughlin. Coughlin, who announced his candidacy for Norfolk County Sheriff in 2020, stated in his online campaign that he’d served as a Massachusetts State Police Detective Captain after 29 years on the force.

“We are going to find out what happened to my son,” said Polk’s mother, Debra Rowell, according to the New York Post. “Everybody is still standing and my son is gone. And I want justice. I want justice and I am going to get it.”

“He went to a party and never came back,” said Alonzo Polk Sr. at a vigil dedicated to his son, according to CBS Boston.

Police have filed an application to the Dedham District Court with aims to charge the homeowners for crimes related to providing alcohol to minors and reckless endangerment of a child.

Family and friends held a vigil for the graduate at a nearby park, where more than 100 people gathered in show of their support. A Gofundme page has also been created, so far raising more than half of a $50,000 goal.

“We started this Gofundme to show Alonzo’s family the love we have for our friend and classmate,” as stated in the fundraiser. “Alonzo is a part of our DHS Nation Family, and as a class, we are praying for Alonzo and his family.”

“All we know is that my son drowned at a graduation party,” said Alonzo Polk Sr. in the New York Post. “He just graduated earlier in the day. Went to this pool party and he’s not there. Just found at the bottom of a pool.”

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