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Young Tourist Hurt After Foot Caught in Washington Square Park Fountain

By Andrea Swalec | July 16, 2013 8:45am | Updated on July 16, 2013 9:19am
 A teen girl was badly cut July 15, 2013 when her foot was caught in a mechanism of the Washington Square Park fountain.
Teen Hurt Wading in Washington Square Park Fountain
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — A member of a Texas church choir was badly cut when she plunged knee-deep into a water jet in the Washington Square Park fountain Monday afternoon. 

Youngsters on a nine-day mission trip from a Texas Baptist church tried to cool off from the day's 94-degree temperature with a frolic in the water jets — which are supposed to be off-limits, according to posted signs.

But the group began to panic when the teen girl slipped and got her foot momentarily trapped in an open grate above the jet around 2 p.m. Monday, cutting her heel.

"Oh my gosh, my foot is stuck!" the girl cried, according to good Samaritan Bob Angerame, a 59-year-old Upper East Side resident who helped her wriggle her right foot free and hauled her to safety.

Angerame, a grad student at NYU and a regular at the park fountain, said he was afraid to wrest free the teen's foot, because, "I didn't know what I was going to see when I pulled it out," he said.

The girl, a singer with Prestonwood Baptist Church in Prospect, Texas, which was slated to give a free performance in Washington Square Park at 3 p.m. Monday, was taken by taxi to a clinic, where she posted to Twitter about the incident.

"Currently sittin in the hospital bc I gt my foot stuck in a fountain... #nbdtho," she wrote, attaching a gory photo of her injury.

The girl did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, and a representative of the church said they had not heard about the incident.

The city Parks Department said the teen should not have been wading in the water in the first place, though people of all ages can be found splashing in the fountain daily during hot months.

Asked if Parks Enforcement Patrol officers plan to increase enforcement of park rules in the wake of the accident, the spokesman said people should heed posted signs.

Joseph Tabacca contributed reporting.