Police identify Havre de Grace teen who drowned Sat. afternoon

Michael Jerome Sawyer, 16, was swimming with friends, drugs & alcohol probably not at play, police say

May 29, 2011|By Yeganeh June Torbati, The Baltimore Sun

Harford County police have identified a 16-year-old boy who drowned Saturday afternoon in a Havre de Grace park.

Michael Jerome Sawyer, of the 300 block of Seattle Slew Place in Havre de Grace, was apparently swimming with friends at Jean S. Roberts Memorial Park Saturday afternoon, near the 600 block of Water Street, in an area where the water runs about nine feet deep.

After swimming out about 20 yards, the friends attempted to return to shore, but Sawyer struggled to return to the shore line for unknown reasons, said Jeff Gilpin, a spokesman for the Havre de Grace Police Department. He then disappeared under the water, and rescue divers from the Susquehanna Hose Company found his body around 4:15 p.m.

"This incident is a horrible tragedy," Gilpin said in a statement. "The Havre de Grace Police Department extends their thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of this young man."

Police are still investigating the incident, Gilpin said. It does not appear that drugs, alcohol, or foul play were factors in the drowning, he said, and toxicology reports from the medical examiner's office are pending.

jtorbati@baltsun.com

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