Man drowns in East Haven condo complex pool

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EAST HAVEN — Police found a drowned man at the bottom of a community pool in a condominium complex Friday evening.

East Haven Public Safety dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call at approximately 6 p.m. reporting that a male was underwater and “not moving” for over two minutes. The caller then hung up before public safety staff could gather more information.

Communications staff determined the call was made from the clubhouse and community pool center at the Birches condominium complex, located on 75 Red Wood Drive in East Haven.

Police and fire units were dispatched to the scene immediately and located an unresponsive male party at the bottom of the pool. EMS teams pulled him out of the water and began to apply chest compressions and CPR until the American Medical Response ambulance arrived.

John Vitali, 39, was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital and underwent life saving treatment. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, the victim was pronounced dead by 8:30 a.m. the next day.

Detectives learned early on in the investigation that while there was no lifeguard on duty, a pool attendant was assigned to the area during the incident.

The attendant informed police that the victim came to the pool with his young son shortly beforehand. She observed as they swam and played near the deep end of the pool, until eventually Vitali dove underwater but didn’t resurface.

The pool attendant was unable to pull Vitali out of the water on her own, so she instructed her own son to call 9-1-1.

The East Haven Police Department is continuing to investigate the drowning.