Family, friends saddened by death of Miami Beach city employee helping out at public pool

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – An investigation is ongoing after a leader with Miami Beach’s Parks and Recreation Department lost his life while helping to watch over an event at a popular public pool.

Adrian Muller spoke to Local 10 News about his friend Peniel Janvier, also known as PJ.

“PJ was an extraordinary nice guy,” Muller said. “I called him The Mayor’ because he could reach out to people. That was my little joke with him.”

PJ was a recreation leader for Miami Beach’s Parks and Recreation Department and lost his life in a drowning incident at the Scott Raikow Center.

The center is a popular facility on Miami Beach for people to exercise and use the pool, and in August, a place for summer camp.

“If they were aware that something bad was happening to him they would have leaped to his assistance,” said Muller.

The incident happened on Aug. 16, during the last week of summer camp at the center.

According to Miami Beach Police, Janvier is a summer camp coach for the Scott Rakow Center. He was monitoring the kids in the pool during an end of summer pool event. He was observed in distress and after a while several coaches and lifeguards took him out of the pool, police said.

“Extremely sad especially for kids to witness that,” said Muller. “Tragic.”

Janvier passed away Friday. The case of death is under investigation.

The City of Miami Beach releasing a statement, which read:

“PJ was an outstanding employee who truly left a lasting impact on everyone he worked with. His smile was contagious, and he cared deeply for the youth in our recreation programs. Miami Beach Police are actively investigating the events that led up to the drowning. In reviewing the circumstances with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, no criminal charges are expected.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family during the tragic time, and that page can be found by clicking here.

“He was a young man and I am older, and I thought of him as a little brother,” said Muller. “I am stunned that somebody like could be taken from the world.”

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.