BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - On a hot summer evening, many try to beat the heat at local public pools. But this week, the fun came to an abrupt end at a pool in Buffalo.
Masten Pool's open water was a welcome sight for swimmers on Friday. Pool supervisor Sam Wichlacz tells News 4 the pool had to be closed because of an incident earlier this week when one of the guards was threatened and nearly attacked.
"It's very scary. [Those] aren't typical things. You expect to go to a job and you don't expect that to happen," Wichlacz said.
Lifeguards quickly calmed the situation, blowing their whistles and clearing everyone out of the area.
"We're here for their safety," said Wichlacz. "We have to keep the pool under control, we have to keep them safe, it's our job. And if anyone drowns, it's on us."
Flora Walton says she's seen it before: dangerous out of control behavior at the pool.
"I think it teaches kids a lesson," she said. "Definitely, this is a privilege, they should act accordingly. And if they can't, they should go home."
The lifeguard involved with the incident didn't want to go on camera. He told News 4 he's since filed a report with Buffalo Police.
But this pool has a history of misbehavior. It's the same pool where in 2010, a 16-year-old lifeguard was pulled in by her ankles, hitting her head on a pool drain.
As a result, each pool is now staffed with armed security guards, making them safer, says Mayor Byron Brown.
"That pool was shut down for a period of time; I think that was the right action to take," he said.
While lifeguards say it's not their goal, they sometimes have no choice.
Wichlacz said, "We come here to protect the kids. We come here to make sure nobody drowns, enforce the rules. We're lifeguards: we're not here for babysitting kids."
News 4 spoke to Buffalo Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge, who said no police report had been filed for this incident.
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