Griswold – A 16-year-old Norwich boy pulled from the water at Hopeville Pond State Park has died, hospital officials said.
Brandon Jozile, a member of the youth group at the First Haitian Baptist Church of Norwich, was first reported missing in the water at about 1 p.m.
State police responded with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Griswold Fire Department and the Norwich Underwater Search and Rescue Team, comprised of divers from Taftville and Yantic.
Jozile was found unconscious by first responders who immediately pulled him from the water, started CPR and transported him by ambulance to the Plainfield Emergency Care Center, a satellite facility of The William W. Backus Hospital. The DEEP said Jozile did not know how to swim.
Adam Bowles, a member of the Peniel Church in Norwich, said he was close friends with Jozile's family and that the community is now grieving the loss of "an amazing kid," the son of the Haitian church's pastor.
"The last time we talked he was challenging me to a basketball game," Bowles said. "We are grieving with Brandon's family. Our church, the Peniel Church, is standing with them. We love them."
"Norwich lost an outstanding kid and a family that has done a lot of good for the city of Norwich is now grieving," Bowles said. "There will be hundreds that grieve with them. We've all shed tears together today. We're praying for them."