Family, friends of Dedham teen who died following pool incident at graduation party demand answers

Alonzo Polk, 17, had graduated from high school just hours before he died.

Friends and family walk from the home of Alonzo Polk, the Dedham High teen who died this past week after being pulled from pool last weekend, toward Memorial Park. Christiana Botic for The Boston Globe
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The family of Alonzo Polk, the 17-year-old from Dedham who died after being found unresponsive in a pool during a graduation party, wants answers surrounding the circumstances of his death.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday in front of Polk’s home and marched, calling for justice. The group went from the family’s Mount Vernon Street home to 36 Netta Road, where Polk had been at a party before being found in the pool, according to The Boston Globe. The group then went back down past Polk’s home and to Barnes Memorial Park.

It was around 12:30 a.m. on June 6 that police were sent to the Netta Road home for the incident. Polk was taken to a hospital in Boston; he died on Friday.


“It’s killing me,” said Debra Rowell, Polk’s mother, according to 7 News. “I need my baby and I’m never gonna see him again. I need my baby. We’re not going to stop until I get the answers. I don’t care what I have to do.”

Polk had spoken with his mother late on Saturday night to let her know where he was, according to the Globe. He said he was having a good time. It wasn’t long after that that the family was notified of what happened.

An investigation continues into how Polk died, according to the Globe. Misdemeanor charges for furnishing alcohol to someone under 21 and reckless endangerment of a child were filed in Dedham District Court; those being charged have not been publicly identified, as a probable cause hearing and arraignment have yet to be held.

The home at 36 Netta Road is owned by James Coughlin, a former State Police captain who was once a candidate for Norfolk sheriff, The Boston Globe reported. Coughlin had not responded to multiple Globe inquiries seeking comment as of Sunday evening, according to the newspaper.

Polk had just graduated from high school the day before he died. He planned to attend Bridgewater State University and wanted to study engineering and play football, his brother Roshawn Drane told the Globe.

Debra Rowell, center, is comforted during the vigil for her son Alonzo Polk. – Christiana Botic for The Boston Globe
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