Temps, tempers flare at city pools

A parks employee, who did not want to give her name, said she’d seen three 
fights so far this summer at city pools. “It was just chaos,” she said.

This weekend, an unprecedented 16 people were arrested at city pools, according to Geoffrey Croft, head of NYC Park Advocates.

The violence included arrests for an alleged assault on a lifeguard in Sunset Park, a 15-year-old girl slashed with a knife at Kosciusko Pool in Bedford-Stuyvesant and two switchblades found at the bottom of Thomas Jefferson Pool in Manhattan.

The police reported seven arrests in pools Saturday and Sunday, but said most of the other arrests took place near, but not in, pools. For example, the 15-year-old girl was slashed outside the pool gates.

“I’ve never seen numbers like this,” Croft said. “It seems like every time you go, there’s some police activity, and it gives the city a bad name. [People] should not feel afraid to come to a public pool.”

When uptown mom Laury Dyke takes her two kids to the pool, she makes sure to leave by 1 p.m. “There are older kids that are roughhousing,” she said. “Usually I’m only there for an hour or so.”
More police at pools would help deter crime, Croft said. But he also blamed a dearth of pools in a sweltering city, creating packed water in 100-degree heat.

At Lasker Pool yesterday, located in the middle of Central Park and the scene of two weekend arrests, Stephanie Rodriguez, 18, said she is no stranger to poolside problems.

“When there are fights, I just leave,” Rodriguez told Metro.


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