Streams

Unruly Crowd at McCarren Closes Pool Early

Friday, June 29, 2012

A day after its grand reopening, McCarren Park pool had to close early after a melee broke out.

Lifeguards were attacked by "an unruly crowd" at around 6 p.m. on Friday, according to the NYC Parks Department. They closed the pool to restore order.

A spokesperson said, "there was a brief altercation at McCarren Pool with no serious injuries. The pool will be open as usual tomorrow."

The pool had a history of fights breaking out before the Community Board and concerned citizens voted to close the park in the 1980s. Some residents described the pool then as a hotspot for fights and other unpredictable behavior, as WNYC's Kathleen Horan reported:

“You know, pushing and shoving, they would steal things from your locker room which wasn't nice," said longtime resident Kathy Schaefer. She blamed some of the kids from the “Southside” of the neighborhood at the time.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe remembers that pools all over the city at the time were far from peaceful.

“Young people and adolescents are rowdy and for some people that’s scary but we’ve found ways to make sure they’re not rowdy anymore or at least it’s nipped in the bud, but this was a different time,” said Benepe.

On Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated the re-opening of the pool in Willamsburg. The landmark pool, first built in 1936 and closed in 1984, underwent a 3 year, $50 million dollar renovation.

 

 

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Comments [15]

Chavisa Woods from Brooklyn

Almost every comment is so blatantly racist, I am shocked and appalled. But right, this issue isn't about race. Sure.

http://www.chavisawoods.com/entries/mccarren-pool/whatIsaw

Jul. 21 2012 01:30 PM
Brenda from New York City

The moment after a lifeguard was attacked (on opening day) was the time to impose a zero tolerance policy. It is not normal teenage behavior to attack anyone, let alone the police. The pool should be an enjoyable and safe place for the hundreds or thousands of people who do know how to behave in public. http://heresheisboys.com/2012/07/03/everybody-in-the-pool/

Jul. 03 2012 07:42 AM
Trey from Greenpoint from Brooklyn

It's always that certain type of person that ruins things for everyone. Just charge a minimal fee and that'll keep the food stamps out.

Jul. 02 2012 09:23 PM

For whatever reason, this pool always had a lot of violence associated with it. I mean, I could tell you stories that would make your hair stand on end, but I'd thought all that was just NYC in the 70's and 80's...NYC in those years was a tough place.

Jul. 02 2012 06:45 PM
Brenda from New York City

It's a bit unnerving to think of teenagers attacking a lifeguard and for people to not seem particularly unnerved by it! To attack a lifeguard you need to have 'authority figure' blinders on. There's no reason to believe that putting adults in the lifeguard chairs would change anyone's behavior. I am loathe to use the expression; 'zero tolerance' but it's probably warranted. One strike and you're out, for the entire summer. Other swimmers should not have to be subjected to that kind of behavior. If they would attack a lifeguard how would they treat other swimmers?
www.HereSheIsBoys.com

Jul. 02 2012 07:10 AM
Joey

"no serious injuries". Thank you Mayor Bloomberg, for stop and frisk.

Jun. 30 2012 06:20 PM
redlo from Brooklyn

Shay, you're so ignorant trying to blame whites and gentrification for the failure of African-American culture. Greenpoint has long been a working class Polish neighborhood, nobody was forced out.

It would be amazing and creepy if the previous, long dead Irish and German residents came back to Greenpoint but no, it's just black and hispanic kids from Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bed-Sty etc that were never properly socialized at home and ruin everything everywhere they go. Whether it's the malls, Coney Island, the Village or this pool, the NYPD gets forced into babysitting "youths" between the ages of 9 and 30.

Jun. 30 2012 05:18 PM
redlo from Brooklyn

Shay, you're so ignorant trying to blame whites and gentrification for the failure of African-American culture. Greenpoint has long been a working class Polish neighborhood, nobody was forced out.

It would be amazing and creepy if the previous, long dead Irish and German residents came back to Greenpoint but no, it's just black and hispanic kids from Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bed-Sty etc that were never properly socialized at home and ruin everything everywhere they go. Whether it's the malls, Coney Island, the Village or this pool, the NYPD gets forced into babysitting "youths" between the ages of 9 and 30.

Jun. 30 2012 05:14 PM

Maybe there should be adult guardians with children 14 and younger. Many unsupervised younger middle schoolers on Thursday, but it worked out in general.

Maybe Parks needs to physically tell everyone (not just post it on a sign) when folks enter what is acceptable behavior in pool, and that guests will be asked to leave or get out of the pool if they don't comply. Perhaps Parks could walk up and down the long waiting line telling people what to expect and what is expected of them. They could beef up their communication to users--on Thursday it wasn't the best and people were getting frustrated.

This is a regional park, not just a park for CB#1. It is the 3rd largest park in BK as well as the 3rd most used park in BK. All the large outdoor city pools are destinations from farther away neighborhoods. Everyone has a right to be there, but yes, they have the responsibility to act and play by the rules--and be told what are the rules so they can rise to occasion. As Benepe noted, teens can be rowdy. That can be scary for others. Violence is not okay. Let's try to work together--it was closed for too long--let's keep it open for everyone.

Jun. 30 2012 02:22 PM
kate

Totally not a place for unsupervised children. Maybe they should just require adult guardians for all kids.

Jun. 30 2012 12:30 PM
shay

ummmm, undesireables from other neighborhoods?? do you mean the previous folks of the neighborhood who had to move out due to rent increases and hipster invasions? check yourself.

Jun. 30 2012 11:56 AM
Angie Crispo

That's what happens when the undesirables from other neighborhoods come in. That's one of the reasons it closed in the 1980. Charge a $100 fee for a sommertime pass and they won't show up. That's one of the ways to solve the pro9blem. Such a G**dam disgrace. The neighborhood can't even enjpoy their own pool.

Jun. 30 2012 10:57 AM
Local from Brooklyn, NY

McCarren Park Pool is in Greenpoint - not Williamsburg. You might be thinking of McClarren...

Jun. 30 2012 09:57 AM
Andrew from Greenpoint

Not taking my kids there until more security or restrictions are put in place to keep the peace. Why not a $100 a year to get in, like the tennis courts? There's nothing worse than a few disrespectfuls ruining it for everyone else. Really disappointing...

Jun. 30 2012 07:30 AM
joe dirt from willimsburg bklyn

it was a fun time with my family but it was horrifiying to see that fight break out the nypd was in no rush to break up the fight its ashamed there wasnt enough security there i deem this place unsafe for children to be in until there is added police presence such ashamed the 2nd dsy and it had to come to this none sense

Jun. 30 2012 01:24 AM

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