A guy who tried to drown himself at a Virginia pool has now filed a suit against the same policemen who saved his life.
Mateusz Fijalkowski, 24, had an episode of bipolar disorder at the time when he tried to drown himself. He alleged that the policemen from Fairfax County Police Department took too long to save his life. He added that they left him struggling for his life underwater for approximately two and a half minutes. Moreover, they barred a lifeguard from getting him out of the harm’s way immediately.
He apparently did not know how to swim but was hired as an assistant manager for the pool adjacent to Riverside Apartments back in May 2016. He was not fluent in English at the time he came to the US from Poland, he landed the job with the help of an international summer job program, according to the filed suit.
This was his first mental episode in his entire life; it was the third day at his job where he first got the episode.
His episode started taking off as he started shouting in Polish and he started swearing at the pool attendants, police was called by a lifeguard when Fijalkowski tore a girl’s wrist band, refusing her the entry to the pool.
A number of 8 policemen arrived, while he kept on blowing his whistle and saying ‘I am a lifeguard.’ Then he started to pray in Polish.
A polish speaking policeman was called on the scene along with Mateusz Fijalkowski’s roommate who also was able to speak to him polish.
But he got out of control and jumped into the pool and held himself down for two and a half minute. This whole incident was recorded by a bystander on his cellphone.
This was his third entry in the pool during his episode and he was not stopped by the policemen according Mateusz Fijalkowski’s lawyer. He was later pulled out of water and was given CPR as more medical technicians arrived on the scene.
According to the hospital report, police stated that he was underwater for 30-60 seconds. Mateusz Fijalkowski spent more than $100k on medical treatment to recover from the aftermath of the incident
He told that police allowed him to sink before their eyes.
‘I’m glad that in the end they realized that they shouldn’t let me drown, but I don’t thank them for letting me die, clinically, before their eyes.’
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr defended his officers, claiming they could have gotten dragged underwater themselves if they went in earlier.
‘When someone’s having a mental episode, the last thing you want to do is go hands on,’ he said. ‘You use time on your side to let the episode subside.’
‘They saved his life – he did not die. You’re going to sue someone for saving your life?’