UPDATE: Police release name of man who drowned in Waterford pond

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Submitted: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 3:41pm
Updated: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 8:03pm

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Leland police have released the name of the man who drowned in a retention pond behind his house in the Waterford subdivision. His name was Bobby Braxton Pierce, Jr.

Around noon on Tuesday, an officer doing a welfare check found Pierce in the pond.

This is the second drowning in a week. On Friday, a homeless man was found dead in a retention pond behind the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on College Road.


  • Guest Dave S says:

    Still doesn’t make it reality at this point, as far as we know. You’re claiming something to be fact that you have absolutely no knowledge of.

  • Guest for the day says:

    He just showing you the know it all butthole he really is

  • Guest888 says:

    You were also confident the Pender school teacher was innocent.

  • Guest says:

    First I would like to say that I was a neighbor of this poor man who passed away. The ‘Retention Ponds’ are ‘Canals’ and they make Waterford a beautiful community and should NOT be fenced. Secondly, our poor neighbor was ill during his last days, very confused, and not in his right state of mind. I contacted the Leland Police and they told me to call 911 next time I had to show him where his house was (he was lost). Unfortunately, Leland Police did not perform a ‘welfare check’ like I requested and I did not see him out in order to call 911. Had I seen him out again, he may be alive today. Very sad this man died because he apparently needed help. The idea of fences around the ‘canals’ in Waterford is a terrible idea. Should we put a fence around the Ocean so nobody can drown? Also, the second drowning referenced in the article was a homeless man who was also very sick.

  • Guest Aida says:

    No, you’re not willing to wait for the autopsy. Your post contradicts your previous comments in which you declared your opinion of what happened to be “reality.”

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    I believe I said that I’d be “really surprised” if it was true….and I was.

    In this case, I’m confident. Sober, healthy adults don’t drown in glorified puddles with gently sloping sides.

  • Guest says:

    Reg. commonsensenootc’s comment (who obviously doesn’t have much)

    It’s obvious that you are making a comment regarding substance abuse or suicide when you know nothing about what really happened. No one has any idea what could have happened. Maybe a slip and fall with a hit to the head, maybe a stroke or heart attack. I think you are a very rude, inconsiderate and mean person to make this kind of comment when you know nothing except this person fell in the retention pond and drowned. I just hope his family does not see these comments. And I know this mans family YOU ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED when you make comments that are rude like this. When you go assuming things, you know the old saying. Please just keep your rude comments to yourself. If this was your family member you would feel the same. I mean really when did people stop caring about one another.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …intrudes on your emotions.

    What are the odds of a heart attack or stroke striking just at the instant you reach the edge of the retention pond? They could have been struck by lightning too, right? Or a sniper might have nailed them from four-hundred yards away?

    Of course, all of those beg the question, “Why were they AT the retention ponds to begin with.”


  • Guest Amanda Huginkiss says:

    Problem is, your version of events isn’t reality either, it’s just speculation.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    I am confident in their eventual findings.

  • Guest28451 says:

    We have seatbelt laws, hot coffee warnings on coffee cup lids, bike and motorcycle helmet laws and pool fences-all to keep us safe.
    I think retention pond fences should be added to the list.

  • Holdyourown says:

    Yeah, we need more supervision. How can we be expected to keep ourselves safe from such things as Ponds and beverages? Maybe we should just require everyone to stay inside until a designated chaperone can escort them through their life safely….or we could exercise our right and privilege to freedom. Sorry to let you know that this means you will need to rely on your own common sense, too. Independence= risk, but that’s what makes life worth living!
    “Do something everyday that scares you.”

  • Guest28451 says:

    Well the poor fellow who passed was a renter, so his family may sue the homeowner who will turn it over to homeowners insurance who will go after homeowners association and or developer or builder.
    Not accusing anyone of anything-just observation and opinion.
    A simple fence around retention ponds could save the lives of more.

  • Guest says:

    What a sad day for Waterford. Every retention pond/finger lake is so well designed and nicely maintained.
    For someone to accuse some of others of neglect, when there is no knowledge of what caused this horrible and tragic accident.
    Mr. Exum has been the consummate builder, a gentleman in every respect, to taint him without any facts is so sad.
    Don’t use the tragic death to air whatever sick grievances you have…shame on you.

  • Guest7969 says:

    “but whatever it takes to save a life” INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY HAS to come in SOMEWHERE…it’s up to YOU not to do stupid things to put your life in danger to begin with!! If what you say is true…you might as well kill yourself…people die getting out of bed…PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!! Burn yourself with HOT coffee…STUPID, go slap your mamma….drown because you went into the water and KNEW you couldn’t swim…nature thinning out the gene pool! Getting plastered KNOWING you make stupid decisions…then make a stupid decision and get hurt…STUPID…SLAP YOURSELF!

  • GuestLee says:

    I have a feeling that if you wrote down every single thought you ever had, you would get an award for the shortest story ever.

  • guesty says:

    As many safety devices that have been put into place by manufactures, government and society, stupid people will try their hardest to defeat them. That is why we have warning labels on irons telling people to remove the article of clothing before attempting to iron it. Never underestimate the power of stupid.

  • Guesttoo says:

    Try this one. Perhaps this isn’t a “retention” pond…rather it’s a plain ol’ pond (just because WWAY calls this a “retention pond doesn’t make it so). Many of the water features found in Waterford as well as Magnolia Greens (and Brunswick Forest, and…) were created or enlarged as an enhancement to the area as well as a selling feature. People move to these areas because they want to be near water. I’m failry certain that if all of the ponds were fenced in, there would be plenty of those little “For Sale” signs hanging from below mailboxes.

  • guesty says:

    I’m with you. That is my statement exactly. How many warning labels do we already have to warn stupid people not to do stupid things? The government is in the business of protecting stupid people from themselves. The heard is needing some thinning.

  • GuestLee says:

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak.

  • GuestLee says:

    Is it time for your medication or mine? I hear voices and even THEY don’t like you!

  • GuestLee says:

    He is not suggesting fencing in lakes, ponds, waterways, the Intracoastal and the Atlantic. That’s YOUR interpretation.

    He is saying that a small fence around a retention pond may save a life. This has happened twice now; it could happen again.

    My goodness, if it can save even one life, why not? Accidents happen.

  • guesty says:

    Because we need Darwin to help us move some folks along. Like the guy that couldn’t swim but went out on a float at Carolina Beach.

  • GuestLee says:

    True…..but whatever it takes to save a life (however stupid they may be). It’s still a life; although I realize that in today’s world that doesn’t mean much anymore.

  • Guest says:

    I’m not familiar with the retention pond discussed, but I can tell you that there is liability on the part of the developer in cases of drownings if there are not signs posted or fences surrounding the water of the retention ponds closer than 50 feet from the yard of the resident. I say this because I am in the middle of a law suit for this exact reason. A tragic accident 2 yrs ago turned into a huge law suit seeking nearly $20 million. Attorney costs alone are approaching $25,000 to defend the case. Creeks and other man made bodies of water are in a completely different category. Ultimately these costs will be passed to the association.

  • GuestLee says:

    I’d agree with you, but then we’d both be wrong.

  • Guest7969 says:

    and you just gave a great example of why if you aren’t willing to take some personal responsibility on your part…you need to be dropped off into the state of California along with all liberals, a 100 foot electrified fence erected on its boarders, we could also erect one on the Pacific side so you don’t drown….then the US would TRULY be a better place!

  • Guest7969 says:

    GOD for lawyers…right!? HALF of whats wrong in this country right now!

  • Guest28451 says:

    The coastline is natural, retention ponds are man made.Most places put them away from houses.
    That’s why many commercial ones are fenced in.
    Why do you think in ground pools require a fence around them?
    Putting a retention pond intentionally behind a house to make it seem like waterfront property-an accident waiting to happen.

  • GuestLee says:

    And ultimately those costs will be passed from the homeowner’s association to the homeowners in the form of “fees”.

    You gave an excellent example of why small fences are needed around retention ponds…which is what I stated after the 1st drowning and the 2nd. The homeowners may not like “the view” of the fence, but it will save a life AND save them from having to pay extra “fees” to the HOA’s when they lose these lawsuits.

  • GuestLee says:

    I think that’s a pretty harsh comment to someone who is trying to be pro-active and make a suggestion about how to save a life.

    If anyone comes off sounding like a moron, it’s you.

  • Guest7969 says:

    me guess…both YOU and the poster above you voted for Obama…just a wild guess! NO..fences are around pools because of ambulance chasing lawyers who sue because they can. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY…if you wander into ANY body of water and drown…ITS YOUR FAULT! If your child wanders into a body of water…ITS THEIR FAULT as well as YOURS….PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY…not everything that happens in life is SOMEONE ELSES fault! These people could have just as easily fallen into a creek and drowned…I guess you’d say they should sue the state for that!?

  • Guest28451 says:

    Can you say Lawsuit?????
    Seems like Mr Exum (the developer of Waterford) would have had it set up so you could not fall in all those retention ponds that back up to the rear of homes and drown.
    It was an accident waiting to happen.

  • jeri simpson says:

    Has anybody fallen into the retention pond at Eaton school on Gordon Road. I often wonder how long it will be before someone (the school children)fall into that pond.

  • Guest340 says:

    I suppose he gave people credit for having enough sense to stay far enough away as not to fall in.

  • Guest says:

    What a ridiculous thing to say! There are lakes, ponds and waterways all over Wilmington, not to mention the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean. Are you going to sue God because he didn’t set them up so you couldn’t fall in?

  • Guest7969 says:

    sir are part of whats WRONG in this country right now! PLEASE PACK UP AND LEAVE! What ever happened to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?! I guess you want to put up a 12 foot wall along the coast to protect people from drowning…MORON!

  • Hank says:

    It is sad whenever anyone dies and accidental deaths are among the saddest.

    The comment by Guest 2851 suggesting a lawsuit and naming the person who developed this community a decade ago is both callous and irresponsible. This family has barely had time to begin greiving and you’re suggesting a lawsuit? It’s apparent that you have a personal agenda and and axe to grind with the developer, but this is not the time nor the forum in which to do it. Furthermore, developers do not design retention ponds. They must hire registered engineers to do the design work and their contractors must then obtain permits from the state and county before commencing. Another approval inspection is required afterwards.

    My deepest sympathies go out to this family.

  • Michelle Mena says:

    What? That does not even make sense. The canals in our neighborhood are the same as in any other. The garden homes even have small yards close to the houses that are enclosed. If someone does not feel comfortable around water, I doubt they would have purchased a home in Waterford. How could the developer be at fault?

  • imeanreally says:

    a man drowns hours ago, and the 1st comment is to sue the developer. it’s cruel, shallow, heartless, monstrous, childish, selfish and mean.( i am curious how one could build a retention pond that someone couldn’t accidently fall in? i guess we could turn all the ponds into above ground pools.)

    what a horrible tragedy for this man’s family, his friends, his neighbors…please, PLEASE –everyone–don’t post mean, ugly and disrespectful words. don’t place blame. not here. not now. yes, freedom of speech, blah blah blah. just because you have a right to say something, doesn’t mean it is right to do so. show a sliver of class. my condolences to the family.

  • Challengetheworld says:

    You are a moron. Take your ambulance chasing, bleeding heart and find the bottom of your own pond. What else do you think? Maybe we should sue the state every time someone drowns in the ocean? Give me a break, you live in a bubble. My hopes are that you and your paranoia stay there.

  • Guest says:

    Seriouly??? A law suit??? You can drown in 2 feet of water in your bath tub. Every neighborhood that I have lived in has retention ponds, without ponds we would end up with flooding ( hince South College Road and Wrightsvill Avenue intersection). If someone wants to be that silly then Why don’t we sue the people who designed the roads in Wilmington? Living near a retention pond is much safer than driving in Wilmington.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    The obvious question is, why didn’t he stand up, turn around, and WALK OUT?

    The smart money says that both recent drownings were far more attributable to substance abuse or suicide than the risks the average retention pond pose to a healthy, sober adult.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I could guarantee that the property owners would raise you no what if there was ever a suggestion to putting up fences.

  • jiji77 says:

    I actually drove by this just as police were taping off the area today. It was in the “canal” that was behind the home. If its the person that lived at house taped off, I often seen him back there in his yard from the roadway that overlooks the canal and his yard….very sad. When I saw the officials out there, I was praying nothing bad happened. So sorry for the family.

  • Challengetheworld says:

    Yes, we already have a protection plan in place. It’s called the children’s parents and common sense. Seriously? I often wonder how people like you survive in life.

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