Fort Worth

No charges in case of 11-year-old boy impaled by pool fence, Fort Worth police say

Fort Worth boy dies after being impaled by pool fence

An 11-year-old Fort Worth boy died May 6, 2019 after being impaled when he fell on an iron fence at an apartment complex. Children had been in a locked pool area and the boy was climbing over a fence at the time of the accident.
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An 11-year-old Fort Worth boy died May 6, 2019 after being impaled when he fell on an iron fence at an apartment complex. Children had been in a locked pool area and the boy was climbing over a fence at the time of the accident.

Fort Worth police say that no criminal charges are being considered in the death of an 11-year-old boy who was impaled by an apartment complex pool’s fence as he tried to climb over it Monday.

“This is being considered an extremely unfortunate accident,” Officer Bradley Perez said.

Officers say that several children climbed a fence at Ladera Palms Apartments, in the 2300 block of Baroque Drive in southeast Fort Worth, to get into a locked pool area about 7 p.m. Monday.

When they were told to leave by security, the children scattered by trying to climb a fence.

One of the boys — identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner as Jean Pierre Mwenge — lost his footing and was accidentally impaled by the fence.

According to a police report, the fence was described as being 6 feet tall with spikes on the tips, Perez said.

Asked if the fence had been broken, Perez said that the security officer reported a wooden gate was broken and in the pool when he arrived.

Jean died at a hospital at 8:05 p.m. Monday.

The boy was in the fifth grade at Clifford Davis Elementary, according to Fort Worth school records.

Vanessa Conover, the cafeteria manager at the school, said Jean “was very bright and was the student of the year.”

“This breaks my heart because I live across the street in the town houses,” she said. “So this hits close to home.”

Officials at Ladera Palms declined to comment Tuesday. The apartment complex is a gated community with a guardhouse and security cameras.

A city ordinance says that owners of apartment complexes with pools must completely enclose the pool yard with a fence that is at least 4 feet tall. Chain link fencing is prohibited for pool yards built after 1994, and no permanent structures are allowed to be built close enough to the fence that someone could use them to climb over the fence.

Emergency dispatchers in most cases can get an idea of where a 911 call is coming from. But the precision of pinning down that location depends on how the call is made.

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Nichole Manna is an investigative reporter for the Star-Telegram. Before moving to Fort Worth in July 2018, she covered crime and breaking news in Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska and Kansas. She is a 2012 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and grew up in Florida.
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