Updated 07/13/2012 06:15 PM
Officials cracking down on pool disturbances
A Johnson City pool was shut down after a disturbance Thursday. It's one of several incidents that have occurred at public pools in the county recently. As our Melissa Kakareka tells us, officials are cracking down on the problem.
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JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -- People in Johnson City won't be swimming at the Floral Avenue Pool this weekend.
"A bunch have to suffer because of a few, but we have to take a stand on this. We can't just keep letting it happen. We have to send a message that we aren't going to tolerate this," said Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie.
The village has shut down the pool indefinitely following an incident at the location Thursday. Authorities say a man made serious verbal threats against a lifeguard after his daughter was thrown out for breaking the pool's rules.
"It's totally unacceptable that an adult would threaten a teenage girl who is just trying to make some money in between school," said Binghamton-Johnson City Police Chief Joseph Zikuski.
This comes on the heels of two incidents at Cheri Lindsey Park in Binghamton: One on the Fourth of July and one earlier this week. Both involved a lifeguard and some unruly swimmers and caused the pool to shut down.
"We felt terrible shutting the pool down and don't want to punish our patrons because we know it is hot, especially the kids But we want to make sure they have a safe spot to swim," said Binghamton Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Carol Quinlivan.
Police say all of the incidents are unrelated but will be prosecuted in the same manner. They increased their presence at the Cheri Lindsey Park Pool when it reopened Friday. And say they plan to do the same in Johnson City when the Floral Avenue Pool reopens.
"We're not going to tolerate it. We're stepping up patrols in both parks. If you are asked to leave and come back you're going to be arrested for trespassing, if you are harassing people you are going to be arrested, there is no gray line here," said Zikuski.
An effort to keep local pools safe for everyone.
Officials are hoping to reopen the Floral Avenue Pool by the end of the weekend but say many lifeguards are now scared to work at the pool.