Sunday, August 30, 2009

Parks Goes After the Middle Aged Russian Ladies....

Move over, Clementine Lee, the Parks Department has a new Public Enemy #1: The older Russian women enjoying a swim at Brighton Beach—and yesterday a few of them were handed $250 tickets for cooling off in the water. A tipster writes in: "I guess there's a sign somewhere on the boardwalk that says swimming is not allowed 6 p.m. to 10 a.m., but I never noticed it. It's hot, it's August, and some people have to work during official swim hours."

Allegedly when the lifeguards went off duty, they simply left, not alerting anyone to get out of the water. (Sigh, lifeguards.) But maybe it was a part of a sting operation, because shortly after, around 6:30 p.m., "some jerks drive up on their mini John Deeres and start yelling. They are wearing green golf shirts with Parks Security on the back ... [they] are not being very communicative, or at all polite. They call in reinforcements—white shirts with Parks Enforcement on the back. They start writing tickets to a bunch of middle aged Russian ladies trying to get a little swim after work. Some of the ladies run home, and the jerks on the John Deeres chase them to the boardwalk."

After demanding I.D. from the women, who were wearing bathing caps and suits, "they make cracks about the potential illegal immigration status that will be uncovered when they take the swimmers to jail. When an onlooker objects and points to the other hundreds of swimmers down the beach the two uniformed guys stalk off."

We have contacted the Parks Department, as well as the outlaw swimmers, and will update with any quotes when we get them.

By Jen Carlson


Andreas said...

This is totally ridiculous! Do you have any follow-up?
Have any of the CIBBOWS swimmers received tickets swimming before or after the life- guard season over the years?

BrooklynMermaid said...

Agreed. CIBBOWSers have been harassed and chased by the green jeep for many years, but this is this first year I've heard of any type of real enforcement. Nobody in our group has been ticketed, but I've heard a number of stories about other swimmers (including someone who spent the weekend in jail in their bathing suit) to be concerned....this particular article generated a lot of negative publicity, so it could be that they've decided to back off. I personally haven't seen them around much lately, and I swim several times a week at the beach....

BrooklynMermaid said...

I think this is an extension of the mayor's larger plan to expand the city's coffers through increased enforcement revenue...Mayor Bloomberg, at a recent sit-down with reporters and editors at this newspaper, denied that the tickets were part of a way to balance the city’s books, but did say some form of quota system is needed to make sure enforcement agents are doing their jobs.

Tickets being issued for swimming after hours in the Coney Island/Brighton Beach area have increased this year.

Abramson said 14 tickets have been issued for swimming after hours so far in 2009 as compared to nine tickets issued for the infraction at this time last year.