Drainage district employee says it's hard to stop people from going into canals

A cross is just a reminder of the tragic end to a young life

A cross and pictures drawn by friends are just two reminders of the tragic end to a young life.

On Wednesday, McAllen fire crews were called to a canal located near Mile 5 off of Ware Road"7-year-old John Perri TMs body was recovered late Thursday evening.

"If we see someone in the back we call police, Dalina Mendoza told Action 4 News. If I see kids out there I call the neighbors and say, 'come get your kid they're by the canal.'

On Wednesday night when John fell into that water"there was no one around to help him.

Richard Garza, field operations manager for Drainage District # 1, said they put up fences and post signs"still people choose to ignore them.

"People stop in their cars and they still cross the fence, Garza said. We have pipes with gates, but you can't stop them."

He said there are times that his own men are the target of taunts from citizens.

When the citizens are asked to leave, for their own safety, Garza said they will actually threaten his crew.

"The people that are out here are drinking beer and having a party, Garza explained. They think this is a pool and my guys get threatened. I've been here 25 years and they threaten me."

Garza told Action 4 News if people do not start heeding the warnings they give---John TMs death will not be the last.