NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Beachgoers claim they are being harassed and threatened by a New York City Department of Parks and Recreation security officer, and new exclusive video shows a heated confrontation right on the shore.
As CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported exclusively, Anthony Jones is works as an seasonal enforcement officer at Rockaway Beach. But many people are calling him beach bully.
Jones protested when a man snapped a video of him, demanding, “Don’t put the camera in my face.” He was also seen on video launching into an angry tirade with a man using a boogie board.
“I’m just informing you,” Jones said in the video. “Do you have to be a scumbag every day, or do you take a day off?”
Far Rockaway resident John Veit said he had numerous run-ins with Jones before he took the cellphone video.
“He took umbrage at what I was shooting,” Veit said. “He whacked at my camera.”
Veit posted the video to YouTube, and it went viral, Kramer reported.
“Name-calling, things like that – that’s kind of his M.O.,” Veit said. “You know, he generally provokes a confrontation every time. He needs help. He needs anger management therapy.”
Many others on the beach said they have had run-ins with Jones, Kramer reported.
“We’ve come into contact with him many times,” said Rockaway resident Joanne Smith. “He’s rude. He’s rolled his quad over people’s blankets; he asks people to move their blankets so he can get through. He’s a nasty person.”
“Quad” is another name for the all-terrain vehicles used by guards to patrol the beach. Rockaway resident Conrad Karl said he has seen Jones speeding on the beach.
“Twenty-five to 30 miles an hour – creating a real negligent and unsafe environment,” Karl said. “I’ve seen him ride over people’s blankets and just have complete disregard for people’s property. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”
The Parks Department issued a statement about on in response to the complaints.
“Enforcement Patrol officers… have a responsibility to keep all beachgoers safe. But all staff also have an obligation to behave professionally and help all New Yorkers enjoy their parks, beaches and pools at all times,” the statement said.
Jones’ actions were under investigation as of Friday. The Parks Department said it will take further action as warranted.
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