NBC 4 New York
McCarren Park Pool opened last week, for the first time in three decades. But, the grand reopening was overshadowed by long lines and violence. Tracie Strahan reports.
People cooling off from the summer heat at the McCarren Pool in Williamsburg are still talking about how tempers flared at the newly opened pool.
Police were called late Friday afternoon when a group of swimmers attacked a lifeguard after he told them not to do backflips.
"They pushed the lifeguard in the pool and the lifeguard started bleeding," said one woman, who saw the attack.
The assault came on the second day that the newly refurbished pool was reopened. It had been closed since 1983.
On Saturday, it was clear the violence hadn't deterred the crowds as people waited up to 30 minutes for a chance to take a dip. But they did so amid tighter security.
Today, at least two NYPD officers were stationed outside the pool, and a few Parks security officers keeping watch on the pool deck.
Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Parks Advocates, questions whether those measures are enough.
"The irony here is that one of the reasons why this remained closed for so long is that people did have concerns about issues going on in the pool," Croft said. "So it is kind of striking that they did not have enough enforcement here."
A spokeswoman for the city Parks Department said there was additional security staff at McCarren Pool for its opening weekend, but wouldn't say if that will continue.
There were no arrests in last week's fight.
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