JOLIET, Ill. (CN) – A teen-ager drowned while canoeing with friends on the Fox River because the owner of the boat rental facility collected and hid the beer cans the underage boys had brought with them before he called 911, the boy’s father claims in Will County Court.
Anthony Boswell says that in July 2007, his son, Anthony Jr., and three friends rented canoes from Bickett, the owner of Ayers Landing. Boswell says Bickett did not provide the boys with life vests.
While the friends were canoeing and drinking beer they had brought with them, Anthony Boswell Jr. fell into the water and drowned, according to local news reports.
Boswell says the teen-agers asked Bickett to call 911, and he promised that he would, but he cleaned up the beer cans first.
Bickett was arrested in 2007 and pleaded guilty in 2008 to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing justice, according to the news reports. Gonzalo Escobedo, a defendant in this case, and the man who allegedly bought the beer for the minors, pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors and has been sentenced to two years of court supervision, according to news stories.
Boswell also sued Strack & Van Til, where the beer was allegedly purchased.
Boswell is represented by Michael Laux with Cochran, Cherry & Givens of Chicago.