NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tensions escalated after people were turned away from a public skateboard park in Rockaway Beach.
Both kids and adults showed up and were told it’s closed for repairs on this Labor Day.
People were yelling, cursing, and demanding police and the Parks Department allow them to ride at the park in Queens.
“It’s really upsetting,” Grace Cox told CBS2’s Erin Logan. “Today is Labor Day and we want to enjoy our day and skate and we came all the way out here.”
Cox says she came all the way from Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Raymond Wilkins — who lives right across from the park on 91st Street — says watched the Parks Department turn people away all morning long.
He says all they did was paint far away from the actual ramps.
“They should’ve picked a normal day when nobody’s here,” Wilkins said.
But people were at the park as soon as Parks Department officials left. One group even jumped the fence, only to be met by park agents flanked by police officers.
Some listened to requests to leave, while others stayed and asked questions about where the damage is.
Officials blamed the problems on “the wood that’s splintering and everything else.”
“Nobody’s hurt themselves on these ramps or nails or pieces of wood,” Wilkins said.
The most important question they had was why the public wasn’t notified, especially since the park was open on Sunday.
One kid refused to leave until police stepped in. The chaos continued for several minutes.
After everything calmed down and the park cleared out, the Parks Department took things a step further by putting caution tape up.
Still, some didn’t follow the warning. Wilkins says he doesn’t blame them, calling the situation “totally unfair.”
Officials have not announced when the park will be open again.
The Parks Department did not respond to CBS2’s questions as to why the painting could not wait until the day after Labor Day.