Drowning victim called ‘good-natured’

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer

The 3-year-old boy who drowned Wednesday afternoon at Potter Park pool was described by his grandmother as a good-natured child who loved to play outdoors.

Jequon Haynes of Dallas died Wednesday in the shallow end of the city-owned Potter Park pool, according to police reports.

“He was always in a good mood, always wanted to give grandma kisses,” Wilma Haynes said. She said her grandson lived in Dallas but was spending the summer with family in Clovis.

Haynes said Jequon and his older brother were playing outside Wednesday afternoon when they apparently ventured across the street from the Grand Avenue Homes to the Potter Park pool. She said the boys were used to going to the park by themselves for free lunches provided there.

The city has a policy at the pool that states children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult or supervisor, said Joe Thomas, city manager. Haynes said she was uncertain how her grandsons gained entrance to the pool.

When authorities arrived at the pool, they found that the boy had been removed from the pool and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was being performed.

He was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead.
The pool was fully staffed with five lifeguards at the time of the drowning and there were about 30 people in the pool, city officials said.

“The first thing we’re going to do is make sure that all of our personnel were doing what they were supposed to do,” Thomas said. “We don’t want to open it (the pool) before we know that everything is the way it should be.”

One local mother, Margaret Romero, said she lodged a complaint with city management Thursday about the conduct of some lifeguards at the pool.

“I told them that radio is too loud; if someone had been screaming for help they wouldn’t be able to hear it,” Romero said. She said that incident occurred sometime last week, and she wishes she would have complained earlier.

Except for Romero’s complaint, Thomas said he didn’t know of any others against lifeguards.

“It’s going to be looked into, I assure you that,” Thomas said. “We’re going to verify if there is a basis for it, and if so, proper action will be taken to correct it.”

The pool will be closed until further notice, a press release from the city said.