When Mateusz Fijalkowski, 24, decided to come over to America for a summer program, he was expecting to get some work experience and have some fun. The Poland native was to be the assistant manager in a Fairfax, Virginia pool – a perfect job for a young person without responsibilities, and for 3 days he performed admirably at his post.
Fijalkowski speaks very little English, making the situation even more difficult for those trying to help the poor man. He began to converse with himself in Polish and get into angry disagreements with pool guests.
When confronted about his current state, Fijalkowski ripped a girls wristband off and started yelling at her. Soon the police were called to aid with the complicated situation, but what happened next is almost unbelievable.
Eight officers swiftly arrived at the scene just in time to see Fijalkowski aggressively blowing his whistle, insisting that he alone was the lifeguard and continuing to speak solely in Polish.
His roommate was called, as well as a Polish-speaking police officer and both of them headed straight to the scene. Everyone else was ordered to leave the area and to allow Fijalkowski to get through the obvious mental breakdown he was experiencing.
From there he dived into the pool, going straight down to the bottom of the deep end and reportedly holding onto the vents down there to ensure that he wouldn’t rise back up. Officers were on hand and watched the entire scene unfold, but they didn’t attempt to bring him out of the pool until he was “not moving.”
Footage from the precarious situation shows officers staring at Fijalkowski while he clearly tries to drown himself. They aren’t moving to help him, and they never actually entered the pool at all. According to a fellow lifeguard, they even refused to let the lifeguards enter the pool to try and save him.
Fijalkowski was unconscious when he was finally brought out of the pool. His heart stopped and he wasn’t breathing, but thanks to CPR his life was miraculously saved.
“I’m glad that in the end, they realized they shouldn’t let me drown, but I don’t thank them for letting me die, clinically, before their eyes,” he told the Washington Post.
“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.”
Now Fijalkowski is suing the officers after he took on $100,000 in medical debt due to the situation.
Read more: AWM