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Cop Punched in Latest Brawl at McCarren Pool

By Jill Colvin | July 2, 2012 8:29pm | Updated on July 2, 2012 9:41pm
A lifeguard presided over the pool.
A lifeguard presided over the pool.
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Jude Domski

BROOKLYN — A cop was punched in the face and three people were arrested during a brawl at the McCarren Pool Monday evening — the second violent incident since the pool reopened less than a week ago, police and the Parks Department said.

The melee erupted Monday evening after a group of rowdy teens repeatedly ignored lifeguards' orders, Parks Department officials said.

"Three youths were arrested after ignoring orders from lifeguards and security to stop running and diving into water less than 5-feet deep," said Michael Dockett, assistant commissioner of Urban Park Service. "Several others were escorted out by police officers."

One of the three was arrested for assaulting a police officer after he allegedly punched a cop in the face. The officer was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center with minor injuries. The two others were arrested for disorderly conduct, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

Witnesses on Twitter described a hectic scene, with officers swarming the pool.

"Drama at mccarren pool again. A dozen police blocking traffic and making arrests," tweeted @annuhpee. "Probs the most exciting place in wburg this summer."

"Yep. Mccarren park pool closed today b/c of violence!! #greenpoint," added @WOM_NYC.

The incident, which was first reported by the website Gothamist, comes just three days after another brawl where lifeguards at the pool were attacked by rowdy swimmers, forcing the facility to shut an hour early one day after its grand re-opening.

Some in the neighborhood were clearly sick of the drama.

"fight again at McCarren pool. ok I have an idea - open a separate Thunderdome MMA pool next to McCarren and allow fighting, $5 tickets," tweeted @990000.

Despite concerns about staffing levels at the city's pool, Dockett said that enforcement officers were always on scene.

"Parks Enforcement Patrol is present at all large city pools, and visitors who repeatedly violate the rules lose their right to use them," he said, adding that the pool has operated at its full 1,500-person capacity every day since its opening and that, despite the incident, the pool remained open through the evening Monday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Friday’s incident "a disgrace," and said that those responsible should be punished.

"First thing we should do is find out who the kids are and arrest them," he said when asked about the incident.

A Parks Department spokeswoman said earlier Monday that extra security staff had been assigned to McCarren over the weekend in response to crowds and heat.

"Lifeguards and security are always on hand at all 55 outdoor pools and doing a great job," she said.

Twitter user @ameeliah, however, complained that security was too tight.

"Security insane. I nearly got refused cause my lock wasn't big enough," she tweeted.