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Father of man who drowned in Back Cove sues first responders

Eric Cohen's father says first responders should have acted more quickly to help his son, who was experiencing a mental health crisis.

PORTLAND, Maine — EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video aired April 12, 2020.

The father of a man who drowned in Portland’s Back Cove during a mental health crisis is suing first responders, saying they didn’t do enough to stop the tragedy.

The lawsuit says 25-year-old Eric Cohen was experiencing a mental health crisis when he ran naked into the cold water on April 12, 2020.

The lawsuit contends first responders should’ve acted to help Cohen when he was in waist-deep water 30 feet from shore.

Instead, they waited for the arrival of a fireboat. By that time, Cohen was face down in the water. City officials declined to comment.

The lawsuit names the city, two police sergeants and an unidentified Portland firefighter.

 

RELATED: Portland Fire, Police searching for person in water at Back Cove