Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day After Lifeguard Attack, McCarren Park Pool Is Filled To Capacity As Security Increases

McCarren Park Pool

Crowds waited to get into the newly opened McCarren Park Pool on Saturday, June 30, 2012. By 1:00pm the pool was already filled to capacity. “We are at full capacity and will not let people in until others start to leave,” yelled a pool attendant into a megaphone outside the pool’s entrance. The new pool accommodates 1,500 swimmers, a decrease of 700. NYC Ranks dead last in the provision of public swimming pools for a high density city. (Photo: Alissa Ambrose/DNAinfo)


A day after McCarren Pool in Brooklyn shut down when lifeguards were attacked by unruly teenagers, hundreds of people lined up outside the pool on Saturday, determined to cool off from the blistering heat that again descended on the city, according to the New York Times.

Droves of people made a line stretching the length of about three blocks, drinking bottled water and eating flavored ice as they waited.

“We are at full capacity and will not let people in until others start to leave,” a pool attendant yelled into a megaphone outside the pool’s entrance. The area’s capacity is 1,500 people and the attendant, who did not give her name, said that as of 1 p.m., there were 1,502 people in and around the pool.

“It hasn’t dampened the mood too much considering this line right here,” said Evan Conquest, 30, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The pool was opened for the first time in 28 years on Thursday after a $50 million renovation.

The violence unfolded around 6 p.m. on Friday, about an hour before closing time.

Some teenagers doing back-flips into the pool ignored the lifeguards’ command to stop, according to a parks department spokesman. The teenagers and others then attacked the lifeguards. No arrests were reported.

Elizabeth Rodriguez, 28, who had been waiting in line for about a half hour, said the episode would not deter her from using the pool. “They have control of things. Teenagers are going to be teenagers, and it’s going to happen eventually,” she said.

“This is New York City,” said Kati Solomon, 26, but “we’ve come too far to go back at this point.”

She added: “I have faith in the parks department and the N.Y.P.D. to take care of it and make it safe the following day. They’re pretty strict about what you can bring in, so I feel pretty safe.”

A police officer was on duty at the gate on Saturday, and the parks department said that security was in place at McCarren and other outdoor pools around the city. A department spokeswoman did not immediately respond when asked by e-mail if security had been stepped up at the pool.

Read More:

New York Times - June 30, 2012 - By Aaron Edwards

DNAinfo - June 30, 2012 - By Alissa Ambrose

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