The recent trend of pool-goers behaving badly continued yesterday with the arrest near the Mariners Harbor minipool of a man charged with packing a gun -- an imitation pistol, as it turned out, according to the Staten Island Advance.
Tasheem Burden, 20, of the 200 block of Grandview Avenue, was arrested after staff at the minipool, located in the Grandview Playground, spotted the replica and called police about 3 p.m., said a spokesman for the city Parks Department.
He's charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, both misdemeanors.
The incident comes on the heels of disturbances on blistering-hot Friday that forced the temporary closures of three of Staten Island's public pools.
With the East Shore beaches -- since closed -- threatened by sewage, the mercury peaking at 106 and hours extended citywide, attendance at the Island's eight municipal pools hit 5,873, more than triple the 1,771 counted the previous Friday.
"It was mad-hot, and there were a lot of people," recounted Shayla Mazier, who arrived early Friday at the West Brighton Pool in her home community and watched the crowd steadily grow.
"You couldn't even see the water, only people. You could swim -- but only to a certain extent," she said.
Pool staff turned sprinklers on those waiting on line after the pool reached its 230-patron capacity.
"The lifeguards were blowing their whistles, like, 1,000 times, telling people not to jump," said pool regular Luis Acevedo of West Brighton. "It was mostly the teenagers," he said.
The West Brighton Pool was closed at 5:30 p.m. Friday, as were the Tottenville Pool at 5:15 p.m. and Lyons Pool in Tompkinsville at 5:50, according to the Parks Department. All were reopened about 45 minutes later by the NYPD.
Staff at West Brighton emphasized that none of the incidents Friday involved violence or threats of violence; most patrons were just grateful for relief from the oppressive heat.
Indeed, the story couldn't have been more different yesterday, on a postcard-perfect July afternoon.
Even as Burden was being brought into the 120th Precinct stationhouse, only the sounds of splashing and laughter punctuated the quiet calm at the West Brighton and Lyons pools.
"It's safe, it's clean and it's good for the children," said teacher Jennifer Corbisiero, as she watched campers from the South Beach Smiles Around Us Academy at play in the wide-open West Brighton Pool. "I've never had any problems here. The staff is helpful; it's great."
At Lyons, capacity 641, Irene Joyner of Stapleton lounged in the shade of a tree. "This is great here most of the time. It's a good place for me and my husband and the kids to get away from the house."
On Friday, she remembered, towels paved the perimeter of the giant pool.
But it's a fact of life at the pools that horseplay among teens, tension among rivals who happen to meet there and even petty crime do sometimes take center stage.
Radio reports yesterday about 5:30 p.m. had police en route to the Stapleton minipool, at the Stapleton Playground, after staff reported a chain-snatching.