Is this the man responsible for deaths in Orlando?
Joseph Puerile, 84, was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. His cause of death was listed as drowning/possible homicide. He left behind two adult children and five grandchildren.
His is the fifth murder this year involving the children's pool game, Marco Polo. Orlando Police claim the game is so annoying that it has forced others to murder due to the incessant racket made when children, and sometimes adults, play the game at area public and private pools.
Several witnesses say Puerile was having a day of fun with his grandchildren at his community pool, when he was forced into the deep end by a group of angry seniors. Witnesses also claim Puerile was asked to leave several times and take his obnoxious grandchildren with him, but he refused to do so.
Unable to swim, the man perished while many of the elderly pool goers looked on. No one, save for a lone 86-year old former English Channel swimmer, Helen Mirren, tried to save Puerile. He finally succumbed to the depths of the pool.
Puerile, or Granpa Joe, as his grandchildren called him, began bringing his grandchildren to the pool located at the Sunny Acres Mobile Home Retirement Community, once school let out for the summer. Joe moved there from another 55+ mobile home park, where he had resided for 15 plus years. No one knew why Joe had to leave, but there was plenty of speculation after his first visit to the community pool at Sunny Acres with his five grandchildren.
"He was always with those kids in the pool," said one neighbor, who wished only to be identified as Sol.
"Noon on, sometimes to 3 or 4 in the afternoon, you'd see Granpa Joe and his two grandsons, ages 7 and 13, and his three granddaughters, ages 3, 5, and 9, in the pool playing that Marco Polo game. Back and forth, back and forth, 'Marco' one child would yell, as the other children would move into different areas in the huge Olympic-size pool and answer 'Polo, Polo, Polo, Polo, Polo.'
"My personal guess is that the regulars at the pool felt Joe and his grandchildren were, at times, commandeering the pool, causing a menace, and had to be stopped. A petition was even circulated in the community to get Joe and his grandkids banned from the pool. When that failed, I think there was a faction who just thought it was time to take matters into their own hands," said Sol.
Swimmer Mirren was reached by phone later for comment, but was unable to give a statement as it turns out she is deaf and could not immediately answer questions about her heroic efforts to save Puerile.
"I was tempted several times to put an end to the annoying game, but out of respect for Joe, I would just get up and leave. After about a half hour of Marco Polo," said Sol, "and even I had murder on my mind, but I never thought of actually doing it," said the kindly old gentleman.
Evidently, not all the residents who looked forward to their daily swims were as benevolent as Sol.
Honestly, I think it became too much for some of the other residents, and they couldn't take it any longer," said Sol. "I mean, the occasional Marco/Polo sure, but over and over and over again until you actually felt like your head was going to split clean open," he said. "Just not our idea of a relaxing day poolside."
He shook his head and walked away, obviously still reeling from the death of a man he said was just a grandpa trying to have a little fun with his grandchildren. A man, nevertheless, who was completely oblivious to the torment he inflicted on fellow pool goers on a daily basis.
The investigation is continuing into Joseph Puerile's death; however, with no witnesses coming forward to actually give a concrete statement, the death has thus far been deemed an accidental drowning.
The pool is again open to residents with one change. The game Marco Polo can no longer be played in or around the pool.
"I don't think that would have made Joe happy," said Sol, "but as for the rest of us, we have moved on and are finally looking forward to our days in the sun, sitting poolside, with only the sounds of "Cannonball!!!" to disrupt the serenity.