NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – What started out as a day of fun in the sun turned into a scuffle and numerous arrests at Rye Playland.
Some 3,000 people were part of a Muslim tour group who went to the park Tuesday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan.
Things started to go south, however, when women wearing headscarves wanted to get on some of the rides. Any sort of head covering is banned on the rides for safety reasons.
The women were offered refunds.
According to Westchester County officials, some members of the tour started to argue among themselves, and when park rangers attempted to intervene, they wound up injured and hospitalized.
Parks Deputy Commissioner Peter Tartaglia told the Associated Press the tour operator had been told about the ban repeatedly before the event.
Tartaglia explained the reason for the ban, saying scarves can get caught in mechanical equipment, fly off, land on tracks, choke riders and more.
“We respect the religious purpose of wearing it, but we have several rides that cannot go on with any sort of headgear,” said Tartaglia.
Police responded to the scene and the park was shut down for two hours. 15 people were arrested and later released.
Is the ban on headscarves at the park appropriate? Should there be a broader ban on headscarves?