Contrary to promises made on his radio program, Curtis Sliwa will not deploy the Guardian Angels to Carroll Park after rock and water-balloon slinging teenagers made headlines last week by terrorizing families and park employees on two straight days.
The unruliness began last Tuesday when some rowdy play by a group of teens got too close for comfort for one father and his 3-year-old, the New York Post reported. The teens responded to the father’s request to move away by throwing small stones and hard candy at him and his son. Another group of teenagers tormented an adult and three smaller children with water balloons the following day.
Sliwa, who founded the Angels, mentioned the incidents on his WABC radio show last Friday. He said the Angels would be coming to protect the park, but later said his comments were meant as a joke.
“Rocks, water balloons, that’s obviously something the community can deal with,” Sliwa said.
The 76th Precinct agreed.
“We have an officer there every day for an extended period of time,” said Captain Michael Kemper. “In my opinion, it’s a very safe park.”
Although the police are investigating the one complaint that has been filed, some residents have been using on Internet message boards to say, anonymously, of course, that the cops could be doing more to keep order on the playground.
“Personally I think there should be police in the park everyday starting at 3 o’clock until 6 or 7,” said Judy Rayner, president of the Committee to Improve Carroll Park, told The Brooklyn Paper.
“In the summer, it’s really crowded. There’s always this balance between different people using the space,” she added.
This was Carroll Park’s second major disturbance of the summer.
Parents, nannies and babysitters were put on high alert following reports of attempted child abductions there and at a Park Slope playground in June.
In both cases, parents were communicating, sometimes with inaccurate information, to each other on Internet message boards.
Police determined that an alleged incident at Carroll Park was not an attempted kidnapping, contrary to messages on the BoCoCa Parents message board that claimed that a man in his 30s had invited a 4-year-old girl to help him get a drink for his puppy on June 20.
According to this message, the man ran from the park when the girl’s mother called for her.
Word spread quickly — though not always accurately — on the Web.
Subsequent messages described the man as the “Carroll Park creep” and said he been spotted acting suspiciously around a child in Dunkin’ Donuts and had been arrested on an outstanding warrant.
“It’s like a game of telephone. Immediately, it became this guy was a weird creep who was stalking children in the park,” Rayner said.
In fact, the police found out that the original posting had exaggerated the truth. They interviewed the man, the mother and the girl, and learned that the girl had simply followed the dog out of the park.
“Thankfully, nothing happened and it’s a wakeup call for everyone who enjoys a beautiful park in a low-crime area,” said a 76th Precinct source.