Monday, August 21, 2000

Officials question drownings

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — The third drowning in five weeks at a popular entertainment district has puzzled one fire official.

        “I just can't fathom how this could have happened again,” Assistant Fire Chief Eugene Carroll said. “How could all of these kids drown?”

        The latest victim was Andrea Kacludis, 25, of suburban Fairview Park. Her body was pulled from the Cuyahoga River in the Flats early Saturday morning.

        Drinking and bar hopping are the common thread in the deaths. But Chief Carroll and others point out that people have done that for years without getting hurt.

        “Who knows what's going on? I don't. But it's been a bad summer,” Chief Carroll said.

        According to police, Ms. Kacludis, a runner and weight lifter who knew how to swim, either jumped or fell into the water about 1:20 a.m. A friend, James Alaimo, 35, of Cleveland, told police he dived in to save her. Her body was found by rescuers about 40 minutes later.

        The two had been at a dance club and walked to a nearby dock, even though signs warned against trespassing.

        Police have charged Mr. Alaimo with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct by way of intoxication, both misdemeanors.

        Michael Dubrovich, 20, of Sagamore Hills, died July 21 when he fell into the river during a fight. Paul C. Kirchner, 20, of Strongsville, fell into the river Aug. 6.


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