Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

River death teenager 'disaffected'

A teenager said to have been fleeing from police drowned in a river in Northern Ireland

A teenager who drowned in a river in Northern Ireland after fleeing police was "disaffected" with his life, a community worker claimed.

Kyle Bonnes, 15, from Londonderry, was running from officers after they arrived to investigate noise and alcohol complaints from local residents.

Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson's office has appealed for witnesses to Wednesday night's River Faughan tragedy on the outskirts of the city.

Willie Lamrock, who runs the local YMCA club, said more needed to be done to encourage young people like the victim.

"Kyle was part of a group of young people that we in the YMCA felt, and do feel, with a little bit of help and support, there's a lot of goodness there," he said.

"There was a group of young people who were disaffected with what was happening around them and what was happening with them and Kyle was one of them."

The incident happened in the Drumahoe area just after 5pm. The boy was running away from police after they arrived to investigate disturbances in the area.

His body was recovered by members of Foyle Search and Rescue but he died after being pulled from the river. He was a pupil at Lisneal College in the Waterside area of Derry.

Mr Lamrock said whenever they gathered on the street the young people were seen as loiterers or hooligans, yet a group of adult footballers would not face the same pigeon holing.

He said the boy, from Tullyally, near Londonderry, was part of a group which had been denied money to clean up a children's park which had been defaced with graffiti. "I was disappointed that we could not do something with these young people," he added.

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