A Maryland man who allegedly delayed a call for help after a man drowned was charged a year following the man's death.
The state's Natural Resource Police, which originally dubbed George Jaeger’s May 2019 drowning an accident, said in charging documents Tuesday that Thomas James Coale Sr. neglected to immediately call for help after failing to get Jaeger out of Maryland's South river.
Coale then traveled from the river to the Liberty Marina, where a video shows him sitting in his boat for more than half an hour and neglecting to ask multiple people for help, the Capital Gazette reported. After some time, he got into his vehicle, called 911 and said Jaeger, 76, fell off the boat.
Jaeger, who had a weak pulse when Anne Arundel County firefighters pulled him from the river, died after being taken to a hospital, according to charging documents.
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Coale, 54, told police he and Jaeger were drinking alcohol before they got in the boat and that Jaeger was urinating before he fell. He allegedly added that he was too intoxicated to pull Jaeger out of the water.
Maryland Natural Resources police said Coale failed sobriety tests and made several statements taking the blame for Jaeger’s death during a hospital trip for a blood test.
He faces several charges, including manslaughter, by way of criminal summons. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.