Parents sues Friendswood-area HOA after teen with autism drowns in neighborhood pool

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Parents sue HOA after teen with autism drowns in neighborhood pool
"It was supposed to be secure," the suit claims the teen accessed the pool through a gap in a fence.

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- The parents of a 13-year-old boy with autism who drowned in his neighborhood pool near Friendswood have filed a lawsuit.

Deputies were called to the Quillback Park Pool in southeast Harris County last Thursday, where tennis players had found the body of Jimmy Raetze in the pool around 8 a.m.

Jimmy, who had autism, could not swim, according to attorney Derek Potts.

This week, The Potts Law Firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of the teen's parents, Sonya and Jeff Raetzke, against the Heritage Park Village Homeowners Association and Houston Community Management Services.

SEE ALSO: 13-year-old boy found dead in Friendswood park pool

According to the lawsuit, the teen left his house at 2 a.m. and accessed the pool after hours through a gap in a fence that had been there for some time. Potts said it was common knowledge that people would use the gap to get in. The gap has since been covered with plywood and the pool has been closed.

A small memorial of flowers and signs now sits outside the gate.

"It was supposed to be secure," Potts said. "It was supposed to be able to prevent children from getting into the pool at night. Just through lack of maintenance, that did not occur and that should not occur and that is negligent."

Attorneys for the HOA did not immediately respond to ABC13's request for comment. The lawsuit is asking for more than $1 million in damages.

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