Drunken Ohio State Graduate Tennis Coach Craig Cooper Falls Into Shallow Waters Near The Christiansted Boardwalk And Drowns On Tuesday
TENNIS PITCH: Craig Cooper posted a video on YouTube touting his experience as a tennis teaching professional.
CHRISTIANSTED — A 61-year-old Ohio man who has been job hunting on St. Croix for at least a month was found drowned near the Boardwalk on Tuesday evening.
Craig Cooper of Columbus was found floating in the shallow waters near the Christiansted Boardwalk some time before 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
Bystanders pulled Cooper from the water when they spotted him and EMTs administered CPR in an attempt to resuscitate him, but they were not able to revive him.
Cooper was pronounced dead by medical personnel on the scene. He was a guest at the King Christian Hotel for about three weeks.
Witnesses told police that he left dinner Tuesday evening, but never made it back to the hotel after that.
People who knew Cooper said that his job search was hampered by the fact that he was an end stage alcoholic who stayed drunk all day and all night.
Eyewitnesses said that had multiple cuts on his head that had been sutured with stitches from the numerous falls that he incurred in the weeks leading up to his death because he had been drinking so heavily.
When he first got to St. Croix in July, Cooper told friends that he was up for a job as the head tennis pro at the Buccaneer Hotel in Shoys and that he was originally from Connecticut.
People also said that he had lived in a private residence in Tide Village as a boarder prior to moving in to the King Christian Hotel about three weeks ago.
A restaurant within walking distance of Tide Village said that Cooper left the establishment one night and fell down into the middle of the East End Road.
Restaurant employees said that they had to rush outside to pull the inebriated man out of the street so that he would not be run over by oncoming traffic.
Friends of Craig Cooper acknowledged that he was actually an expert at lacrosse, and played for The Ohio State University’s team in that discipline — and not in tennis.