Florida teenagers laugh and taunt a drowning man

Jamel Dunn
Five teens filmed Jamel Dunn drowning in a pond as they mocked him from the shore. The teens will not be prosecuted, officials said. Photo credit: Facebook/simone.t.scott

A group of teenagers laughed as they filmed a drowning disabled man, cursing and mocking him.

Five Florida teens filmed around a minute of cellphone footage of 31-year-old Jamel Dunn drowning in a pond as they mocked him from the shore.

Mr Dunn drowned on July 9 in Cocoa, a small town near Orlando, and his body was not found for five days.

None of the teenagers called for help or notified the police about his death, authorities said.

The Brevard County State Attorney's Office released the video to newspaper Florida Today and said while the teens' lack of action had no "moral justification", they hadn't violated any laws in not helping Mr Dunn. 

Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Cocoa Police Department, said Mr Dunn "started to struggle and scream for help and they just laughed. They didn't call the police. They just laughed the whole time. He was just screaming for someone to help him."

In the footage, one of the teenagers, using an expletive, calls Mr Dunn a junkie.

Someone tells him not to expect any help: "Ain't nobody going to help you, you dumb bitch. You shouldn't have got in there."

About halfway through the video, the man wails before submerging underwater. 

"He just died!" a voice can be heard saying, as the others laugh.

Another asked his friends, "Bro, you scared to see a dead person?"

They laughed as one said, "Oh, he's dead."

Another said, "He ain't coming back up."

Later, one of the teenagers appears to suggest they call the police, but the suggestion is rejected by another.

Police have identified all five teens, aged between 14 and 18. 

Mr Dunn's family filed a missing person report on July 12, and two days later his decomposed body was found floating in the pond near the shoreline, Ms Martinez said.

Florida pond
A still from a video the teenagers made of the pond where Mr Dunn drowned. Photo credit: Facebook.

After his body was recovered, a family friend saw the video on social media and turned it over to police. 

The teens were questioned by detectives but are unlikely to face charges relating to their inaction because they were not directly involved, nor are there any 'Good Samaritan' laws that would apply to the case, police said.

"In the state of Florida, there is no law in place that requires a person to render aid or call to render aid to a victim in distress. There was no remorse; only a smirk," Ms Martinez said.

But police have laid charges regarding their failure to report the death.

A Facebook user named Simone Scott, who said she was Mr Dunn's sister, raised questions about how her brother was treated and the lack of charges in the case.

"I agree they don't have to help, but they should have called 911," she posted.

"My brother is disabled and walks with a cane… please make it make sense to me.

"If they can sit there and watch somebody die in front of their eyes, imagine what they're going to do when they get older?"

Newshub has chosen not to screen the video.