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RPD reports on grease trap drowning say lid was unsecure: 'It makes me sick!'

August 27, 2019 05:22 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — There is video that shows what happened when a little boy named Bryce Raynor fell into a Tim Hortons grease trap on University Avenue in Rochester and drowned. 

That video is not public, but the Rochester Police Department's description of it is.

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News10NBC has obtained the official police reports, and the attorney for Raynor's mother and family says she's going to use the information in the police reports to try to figure out who's responsible for Raynor's death. 

The RPD reports says the lid to the trap was not locked. What's more, the lid that was there at the time of Raynor's death is designed to be used on a septic system. 

One officer who inspected the grease trap on July 15 wrote the cover to the trap "appeared to be simply placed over the top of the grease trap. I did not see any screws or anchors of any kind that could have been used to secure the lid." 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "And when you hear that, you think what?"

Lori Robb Monaghan, attorney for Renee Cullum: "It makes me sick."

I reached attorney Lori Robb Monaghan on the phone. She and I googled the type of lid listed in the police report and our search showed it's a septic tank cover. 

Robb Monaghan, attorney for Renee Cullum: "I cannot believe that kind of carelessness and disregard for safety took place."

Raynor died after he fell into the grease trap. He was at Tim Hortons on University Avenue with his mom, who said she had to bring him to work because she couldn't find a babysitter.

The police reports say officers watched video from a nearby security camera. The report says the video shows Raynor "walking back towards his mother" who was throwing out garbage behind the restaurant. 

"The green cover of the grease trap... is seen flipping open as (Raynor) walks past it or over it," the report says.

After Raynor falls in, the report says the video shows "the lid appears to fall back into place."

The report then says Raynor's mother turns around "4 seconds" after he fell in. 

Robb Monaghan: "The grease trap wasn't the first place they looked for him because it didn't appear to be out of place."

Robb Monaghan says that's exactly what happened to two other children who died in grease traps in this country, include a little girl named Sadie Andrews in Alabama. 

The RPD reports say the video shows Raynor followed his mother out behind the restaurant at 10:49:14 am. In the video at 10:49:28, he is seen walking back towards his mother. The reports say Raynor fell into the trap at 10:49:29, approximately 20 seconds after he and his mother walked outside. 

The reports say Raynor's body wasn't pulled from the grease trap until 10:58:22.

Robb Monaghan: "The plastic lid popped right back into place. It's unbelievable to me that this can happen one time. It is absolutely unfathomable to hear it's happening around the country and killing three-year-old kids."

Robb Monaghan says it's fair to say that a lawsuit is coming shortly. 

News10NBC emailed Tim Hortons at 1:37 p.m. on Monday. We detailed the contents of the RPD reports and asked for a statement.

At 5:44 p.m., Tim Hortons replied by writing that "what occurred was a tragedy and Tim Hortons is fully cooperating with authorities to ensure this never happens again."

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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