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Cheektowaga police: Man who drowned in hotel pool couldn't swim

The man who drowned Sunday night at a Cheektowaga hotel swimming pool did not know how to swim, according to town police.

Tyler R. Craig, 18, of Buffalo, was at the Millennium Hotel on Walden Avenue with friends when police were called to the pool at about 7:30 p.m., said Assistant Police Chief James Speyer.

Several of Craig's friends attempted to save him at the scene, but had difficulty doing so and could have drowned themselves, Speyer said in an email. Cheektowaga police officers performed CPR until American Medical Response paramedics arrived and continued to try to resuscitate him, he said. Medics from the Forks Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

Craig, of Hewitt Avenue, was taken to Sisters Hospital-St. Joseph Campus, where he was pronounced dead at 8:17 p.m., he said.

The Erie County Health Department, the agency responsible for enforcing state regulations for public pools, sent representatives to the hotel on Monday, spokeswoman Mary C. St. Mary said in an email. The hotel has a valid permit for the pool, St. Mary said.

The Buffalo News asked the health department to explain what safety measures are required for the hotel's pool and received a copy of 56 pages of state regulations. A reporter was also informed a Freedom of Information request needed to be filed in order to see an inspection report.

On Feb. 12, 2011, two boys were rescued from the hotel's pool after nearly drowning, police said at the time.

The 9-year-old  and 10-year-old were pulled from the pool by people in the area who began to resuscitate them. Police credited those who took action with likely saving the boys' lives.

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