STUDENT DROWNING: Attorney says horseplay a possible factor - KMSP-TV

STUDENT DROWNING: Family attorney says horseplay a possible factor

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Abdullahi Charif, 12 Abdullahi Charif, 12

The attorney representing the family of Abdullahi Charif, the seventh-grade student who drowned during gym class shared some shocking new revelations with Fox 9 News about the tragic death.

Eric Hageman doesn't mince words when he insists the 12-year-old's death never should have happened, and he now says that horseplay may explain how he ended up on the bottom of the pool.

Hageman cites a report that states Charif was a weak swimmer at best, but on the day he drowned, he was playing King of the Hill on a raft with his classmates.

Since Charif was not a good swimmer, he was using a flotation device to grab onto while in the water; however, the report states that at some point, Charif was pushed off the raft and did a belly flop. That's the last time he was seen before his body was discovered.

Furthermore, the report also sheds light on how Charif was found. The document states that the teacher, who the only adult supervising 28 students in the pool, grabbed a pair of shoes from the pool and took them into the locker room to ask who they belonged to. That was the moment they realized Charif was not in the locker room, and the teacher located him in 9 and a half feet of water.

"He should have been seen much earlier than he was. There's simply no excuse," Hageman said. "When we send our kids off to school, we expect they are going to be watched over; we expect they are going to be protected. Here, that didn't happen, and the family needs to know why."

Yet, the report also cites a discrepancy between when the teacher last saw Charif when compared to what the 14 boys who were interviewed are saying.

Hageman, who told Fox 9 News they only got the report on Thursday, says he and his clients are still evaluating what their next step will be, but he says the family wants to see someone held accountable.

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