An assistant pool manager in Fairfax, VA., almost drowned in a public pool after jumping in and says that the police did not act soon enough to save him.
Mateusz Fijalowski came to the United States from Poland through an international summer program. He barely spoke English and did not know how to swim, but was given the responsibility of being assistant manager of a public pool.
Two years ago, Fijalowski nearly drowned in a pool after having a bipolar episode. He is suing the police for not doing enough to stop him from drowning. He was left underwater for more than two minutes while eight police officers stood by watching and apparently even prevented the lifeguard on duty from jumping in to save the drowning man until he "stopped moving".
In an interview, Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said, "They saved his life - he did not die. You're going to sue someone for saving your life?" He continues by saying that if the lifeguard or officers had gone in to save him earlier, they could have been putting themselves at risk.
Fijalowski began working at the pool three days after his arrival to the States and on his third day of work, he began to act strangely. It is said that he was talking to himself in Polish and was arguing with guests. He even ripped off one girl's wristband and would not allow her to enter the pool. When the police arrived on the scene, they were ignored by Fijalowski and he continued to blow his pool whistle and kept shouting, "I am the lifeguard" and prayed in Polish. He even threw his phone into the shallow end of the pool twice and retrieved it both times. Then, he entered the pool for a third time and in this video taken by a bystander, Fijalowski is seen walking slowly into the deep end until he is fully underwater. He then grabbed the two vents at the bottom of the pool and held on, keeping himself submerged.
He was underwater for more than two and a half minutes as the officers watch the scene. Then, the lifeguard, who is also Fijalowski's supervisor jumped in and pulled him out, followed by several police officers who assisted in the rescue.
Fijalowski had vomited in the pool, according to an EMS report and suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest. He was in Fairfax Inova's Heart and Vascular Institue and the psychiatric unit for six days, where he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
Fijalowski is suing to contribute to his medical bills of over $100,000.
What do you guys think about this situation?