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30-year-old father drowns in Belleville pond after being encouraged to take bet

Crowd allegedly encouraged him to take the bet

BELLEVILLE, Mich. – A 30-year-old father died trying to swim across a pond late Thursday night after being encouraged to take a bet.

It happened at the Southport Apartment complex in Belleville. Van Buren Township Police are investigating what led up to the drowning.

Behind building 14 is a large pond. Police arrived just after 9 p.m., when 30-year-old Cedric Collins of Ypsilanti slipped under the water and didn’t come back up.

Cedric Collins
Cedric Collins (WDIV)

Witnesses said there was a $1,000 bet involved. Collins didn’t want to take the bet, but was goaded into it by the 15 or so people there. Collins jumped into the pond and didn’t make it halfway across before going under.

Witnesses said there was peer pressure involved, including name calling to get Collins to take the bet. Police are reviewing video some people recorded on their phones of the incident.

Van Buren Township’s Dive Team recovered his body at about 9:30 p.m. Police said initial rescue attempts by the 15-20 people there were aborted quickly with the darkness setting in.

They’re also reviewing exactly what led up to Collins jumping in. The apartment complex refused to comment on the incident. Police are not sure if alcohol played a roll.

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