Neighbor rescues teen from drowning


It happened in the 3900 block of Wake Forest Road just before noon June 29 at the Montecito West apartment complex.

Fourteen-year-old Shi'meek Lee went under water at a pool and didn't come back up. Lee's neighbor Omary Castillo went into action when he heard the boy's family calling for help.

"I just dive in there and he's down there deep. The guy is just like all the way down at the bottom. So, I pick him up and it was a struggle getting him out," Castillo recalled. "His heart wasn't beating or anything but I was just working his lungs."

Castillo started CPR before paramedics arrived.

"I was like 'You're not giving up on me' and was smacking him a little bit saying 'Come on man, come on.' And all of the sudden his heart just hit my hand like that," said Castillo.

Castillo credits reading CPR instructions in the kitchen of TGI Friday's in Raleigh where he works as a bartender for his knowing what to do.

"I never knew how to do CPR ever. And it just took a split second to read this, and I saved somebody's life," said Castillo.

Lee's family said the teen jumped into the pool in an area where he thought he could stand, but quickly found himself in the deep end. His brother saw him struggling and tried to help. Shi'meek panicked, pushing him under water. His brother told his grandmother he tried at least three times to save his brother.

Castillo got a note from the boy after the rescue.

"Thank you for saving my life," Shi'meek wrote.

"We are so grateful for you. Thank you for giving me my grandson back," said the boy's grandmother.

"We got him out, that's all that matters. He's alive. He's good. He's healthy. He told me he's not going back into the pool again," said Castillo.

At least not without taking swimming lessons or having a lifeguard nearby.

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