A man who was homeless drowned in the famed fountain at the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip on Friday morning, police said.
Around 10 a.m., a local “transient individual” interacted with tourists near the fountain before he entered the water, Las Vegas Police Capt. Dori Koren told reporters at a press conference. The man swam toward the middle area of the fountain, turned around when he was about halfway through, and then began to tread water as he approached the area where he entered it.
Eyewitness Kayla Eklund told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the man was talking to himself before he jumped in. When he started struggling, he shouted, “Help, help, help,” she told the newspaper. That is when she called 911. Police did not arrive at the scene for 10 to 15 minutes, she said, and by then the man had already drowned.
One bystander jumped in to try to save the man but came out of the fountain for his own safety, police said.
Police also pulled out another man from the fountain around the time of the drowning though Koren told the press that this man was “unrelated to the incident” and “a little mentally unstable.”
Koren described the person who drowned as a white man between 40 and 50 years of age. He said it was unclear what state of mind the individual was in.
“We encourage everyone who visits the Las Vegas Strip to be safe and that includes any of the properties that have any kind of water places. Please make sure that you do not jump in for any reason. It is just unsafe to do so,” Koren said.
Representatives for MGM Resorts, which owns the Bellagio, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The company has told other news outlets that it is helping the Las Vegas Police department with its investigation but deferred to the police for any other details.
One of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas, the area outside the Bellagio features more than 1,000 fountains that spray water more than 400 feet into the air set to a music and light show. The fountain was featured prominently at the end of the 2001 film Ocean’s Eleven.