As Germantown began the hottest stretch of weather this season, one pool manager kept his cool, and his quick thinking kept folks at his pool safe from an alleged knife-wielding attacker.
At about 4:45 pm, on Wednesday, June 27, Montgomery County Police responded to the Manchester Farm Pool at 13851 Hopkins Road in Germantown for the report of a person with a knife who had attempted to stab a man in the parking lot of the pool.
However, before police arrived the male victim ran into the pool and asked a pool patron to call 9-1-1. As this was happening, Michael Rosenblatt, the assistant manager of the pool became involved asked the man what problem was, and the man said that his daughter had just tried to stab him. “She was unsuccessful. The man was not stabbed, but he was visibly shaken,” said Rosenblatt.
At this point, the 38-year-old assistant pool manager took an important step. He ordered the pool gates closed and locked. He locked down the pool to keep the man and any other people in the pool safe.
“I didn’t want that individual [with the knife] to make their way into the pool,” said Rosenblatt, “so I decided to lock the gates and notify our staff that we were not letting anyone in or out of the pool. We secured the pool until police arrived. Once police arrived and confirmed the scene was clear and there was no danger we opened the pool again to let guests in and out.”
MCPD responded to the scene. While they were unable to find the victim’s assailant at the pool, they later arrested 27-year-old Debi LaTouche, of the 19000 block of Capehart Drive in Montgomery Village and charged her with Attempted First Degree Murder, First Degree Assault, Second Degree Assault, and Malicious Destruction of Property for the alleged attack at the pool.
According to a Montgomery County Police spokesperson, the incident was a domestic incident and not a random attack.
Rosenblatt told another lifeguard to stand near the entrance to the pool and explain to would-be pool patrons that the pool was closed for a few minutes and ask them to be patient, while he stayed with the victim. Rosenblatt also explained to any people, already inside the pool who wanted to leave that there was a domestic situation happening in the parking lot and police were handling it and politely asked them to remain at the pool until it was cleared up.
“The pool was very, very busy at the time of the incident,” said Rosenblatt, who works for Gaitherburg-based RSV Pools, Inc. “It just seemed like common sense. If one person tried to do something like that to another person, I don’t need anyone like that coming into our pool. So, I just said ‘Let’s lock the gate.’ Its just common sense, to me. I just reacted with what thought was the right thing to do.”
“We were very impressed with Michael’s quick thinking,” said Tressa Waller, the Business Manager with RSV Pools, Inc. “He is amazing. We are pretty proud of him.”
According to court documents, LaTouche was also arrested in May of 2017 for Second Degree Assault, Violation of Protective Order and Malicious Destruction of Property.
Court records show that she was arrested in connection with the incident at the pool the following day on Friday, June 28. She is currently being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center. If convicted of Attempted First Degree Murder LaTouche could face life in prison, a preliminary hearing date is set for July 27 in Rockville.
Edit Note: An earlier version of this article listed the date as July 27, it has been corrected to June 27.
File Photo by Germantown Pulse, map courtesy Google Maps.