Family demands answers after death of Dedham teen found unresponsive in former police captain’s pool

DEDHAM, Mass. — Alonzo Polk would have turned 18 next week, but the celebration began last week when he graduated Dedham High School. His family says they’ve been getting a lot of support from the community just not the type of support they need.

The 17-year-old star football and basketball player was found unresponsive at the bottom of a pool at a graduation party on Netta Road last weekend.

“Understand me when I tell you we know nothing, we heard nothing,” said his brother, RoShawn Drane. “No police, no homeowners, nothing. When we sat in the hospital and waited to hear what the word was about my brother Saturday night. It was just us.”

Emergency crews were called to 36 Netta Rd. around 12:30 a.m. Sunday to investigate a possible drowning. When police arrived, they said bystanders were performing CPR on Polk. Polk was taken to a Boston hospital, where he was later listed in critical condition before passing away.

His family and friends now want to know what happened.

“My heart dropped,” said best friend Rochelle Casey. “I was right at the hospital, I tried to get answers. I asked everyone what happened and no one will tell me what happened, no one will tell me what happened to him.”

PREVIOUS: Teen in critical condition after being pulled from Dedham pool

“If we have to stop the town of Dedham, we are going to find out what happens to my son,” said his mother, Debra Rowell. “Everybody is still standing and my son is gone and I want justice and I’m going to get it. I’m going to get it and I’m not gonna stop until (then). I need my baby.”

Earlier this week, Dedham police announced intentions to bring charges in connection with the party including furnishing alcohol to minors and reckless endangerment of a child.

“We are living in a world of Covid first of all,” said Drane. “100 to 200 people in the backyard. At night, not well lit. What more do I need to say?”

Police have not released any names associated with that case but 25 investigates learned the home belongs to former state police captain Jimmy Coughlin. Coughlin ran for Norfolk sheriff in 2020 but was defeated. We were unable to reach him for comment.

PREVIOUS: Investigation continues after unresponsive teen pulled from Dedham pool

Polk’s family says all his friends are no where to be found.

“Him and his friends have a good time over here all the time hundreds of kids, we haven’t seen hundreds of kids,” said another brother Gregory Rowell. “We’re trying to make it make sense.”

“You can look on any social media page anywhere and you will see #APstrong, #JusticeforAlonzo, #PolkPower, you will see all of these things but no one has yet to tell me what happened to my brother, my mother son,” said Drane.

The Norfolk County DAs office says it is now investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

Meanwhile, the family tells us since there were so many people at the party where he was found unresponsive, there shouldn’t be much to investigate.

Police said the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Sunday’s incident in Dedham occurred as the region is seeing a spate of drownings in recent weeks.

On Saturday, a 68-year-old Bridgewater man drowned in a Plymouth pond.

Last Friday, Worcester Police Officer Emanuel ‘Manny’ Familia died while trying to save the life of Troy Love, 14, who also drowned, from a local pond.

On May 27, a 39-year-old Quincy man drowned at Houghton’s Pond in Milton while trying to retrieve a soccer ball that had gone into the water.

On May 26, a 16-year-old boy died after police said he drowned in a pond in Framingham.

And on May 15, two boys, ages 12 and 13, drowned in a pond at D.W. Field Park in Brockton.

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