Thursday, July 19, 2012

Incidents at the McCarren Pool: A Timeline

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Another day, another unfortunate piece of news coming from the McCarren pool. On Tuesday, a brawl at the filled-to-capacity pool devolved into several arrests, leading police at the pool to break out pepper spray. "There was a complete breakdown of control," a witness told the Daily News. "It looked like these kids were running the show."

Just three weeks after its re-opening, the pool is still emitting a nearly constant stream of news, most of it bad. What better time to take a brief, blood-and-chlorine-scented trip down McCarren Pool memory lane:


June 28th: Following a years-in-the-making renovation with a $50 million price tag, the pool officially re-opens to much fanfare. "This pool has an illustrious past and a bright future,” declared Mayor Bloomberg at the opening ceremonies. Incidentally, the pool-goers look great, and we have the pictures to prove it!


June 29th: The first sign of trouble: a group of rowdy teenagers attack a lifeguard, forcing the pool to close early.

  • Evan Rose/Gothamist

July 2nd: A group of teenagers refuse to stop running and flipping into the pool, and one actually punched one of the pool cops. Four lockers are also robbed that same day.

When asked by a reporter about the incident, Bloomberg snapped, "Well, what do you want me to say? OK, we'll put a cop next to every lifeguard in the city."


July 6th: A teenager is brutally beaten in neighboring McCarren park. The incident appears to be unrelated to the pool, but is widely reported in conjunction with other pool-related scuffles.


July 9th: The pool is briefly evacuated after an unidentified child uses it as a poop depository. Local residents express concern at both the new influx of renegade poop, as well as unwanted, likely unemployed Bushwick residents.


July 15th: New York Daily News columnist visits the pool with his kids, declares it "an oasis of peace and calm."

Elsewhere, an anonymous lifeguard gives a tell-all interview to The New York Post complaining about crowds and confirming the recent increase in police presence at the pool.


July 17th: A fight at the pool devolves into pepper spray and arrests, frightening other swimmers.


So what does the future hold for this well-intentioned but troubled pool? Will things calm down as the heat waves and new crowds subside, or will there be more reports of unwanted violence and feces? Most likely, a little bit of both.

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About The Author

Virginia K. Smith

Virginia K. Smith

Virginia K. Smith is the Assistant Editor at The L Magazine and a Bushwick resident. Her profile picture was taken at Summerscreen, because she is a real team player.

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