Friday, September 08, 2000

26 complaints made about Rosedale

Covington Police supply records following boy's drowning

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Police responded to complaints involving Rosedale Pool or the surrounding park 26 times this year, with juvenile trouble ranking as the top complaint.

        Eleven of the calls came from police who observed possible trouble, one was initiated by the fire department, and the rest came from the public.

        In each case, police handled the situation, or re ferred the problem to the proper city department, according to records released Thursday.

        The Enquirer requested public records of complaints from neighbors or others about Rosedale Pool after 6-year-old Dylan Roberts drowned last week in the pool, which was closed in June 1997 because of flood damage.

        Police said Dylan entered the pool area with a playmate through a hole cut in the fence.

        After Dylan's body was pulled from 7 feet of murky water that had collected in the deep end, Latonia residents said that they had repeatedly complained to police about vandalism in the park and children playing near Rosedale Pool, to no avail.

        Last week, Lt. Col. Bill Dorsey of the Covington Police estimated police had received “less than a dozen complaints” about Rosedale Pool this year. He said then that police responded to all complaints they received about Rosedale Park and pool.

        “Maybe they were responsive to all those things, but it still doesn't change anything,” said Eric Deters, who is representing Dylan's parents.

        “The city should have filled the pool up in '97.”

        The city began filling the pool with dirt and rock Wednesday after a petition carrying more than 750 signatures was presented to commissioners. The petition asked for the pool to be filled in, the park refurbished and renamed for Dylan.

        Records released Thursday showed six calls related to juvenile trouble in Rosedale Park. They included youths riding go-karts or dirt bikes on the ball field, or driving mo-peds or go-karts elsewhere in the park, disturbing neighbors.

        In three instances this year, police reported holes cut in the pool fence or problems securing the gate. Those problems were referred to Covington's general services department, ac cording to the records.

        Other complaints about Rosedale Park involved a mix of problems: speeding or reckless vehicles in the park, suspicious vehicles, suspicious people, a barking dog near the park's entrance, a fight, an apparent drunken driver and parking complaints.

        Covington Mayor Jim Eggemeier did not respond immediately to calls requesting comment.


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