Christina Boyle and Helen Kennedy, NY Daily News, July 17, 2012
Cops had to use pepper spray to subdue brawling bathers as yet another fight shut down Williamsburg’s star-crossed McCarren Park Pool on Tuesday.
A YouTube video of the incident shows a chaotic melee, with shouting, swearing youths surging and pushing towards a cluster of cops who have a suspect on the ground.
One officer can be seen dispersing the increasingly aggressive crowd with pepper spray, sending people running and then shaking the can as if to ready another shot of spray.
“Had that cop not used the mace they would have all piled in,” a witness who asked to remain anonymous told the Daily News.
“You could see moms and their children being: ‘Oh my God.’ One lady outside was saying ‘I’m done with this pool, it’s too much. I’m never coming back here.’”
“I was scared for my kids,” said Anna Lora, 33, of Ridgewood, Queens.
Antquan Lomax, 23, of Broooklyn, was charged with pushing an NYPD deputy inspector, while Ronald Crouthers, 24, of Brooklyn, and Jamaar Gordon, 24, of Queens were charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. A fourth person was issued a summons.
The witness said he saw one teen being marched away by cops.
“Then something obviously happened — he tried to resist arrest maybe — and they forced him to the ground,” he said.
“Then a group of people come rushing in and that’s when the cop used mace,” he said, saying two others were taken into custody.
It was the fourth incident at the gleaming 37,950-foot WPA-era pool, which reopened June 28 sporting a $50 million face-lift after being closed for three decades.
Then there was poop-gate on July 9, when the pool was briefly closed for mystery fecal reasons.