Daily News from New York, New York on July 11, 1994 · 7
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Daily News from New York, New York · 7

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Monday, July 11, 1994
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"J iBOHPW- (SOW IHOML i """"" ' ' """,ww "S' wv v n-ywww " nn jjupwhi' i w ' mmm wmmmm mmm Bill Divinsky, 61, did grow up in that pool "since I was 6." He calls it the Pitt St. Pool, the original name of the 59-yea'r-old swimming hole at Pitt and E. Houston Sts. But like the name, Divinsky has watched renovations change the face of the pool, and new waves of immigrants change the face of the East Village. Back then, boys jumped on girls in the swimming pool no problem. It's all in fun, Divinsky says. Today, it's con- ' sidered assault, but Divinsky disagrees. .....;;. "- -;.. '.' : ; "It's not a jape.. It's boys . getting fresh with a girl," he says. No, says his wife. "It's ' wrong. But, let's face it," she 1' ' "' V"- " ' M - 3 . mmmmmm 1 - y- a, 4 Vi- adds. "Boys will be boys." She's not afraid for Anjuli, however. "If you're afraid, somebody will pick up on it, and do exactly what you don't want to be done," she says as Anjuli makes her way back to the children's pool to perfect her breaststroke. The whistling increases as the afternoon crowd most-. ly older kids arrives with a lot more splashing, more back-climbing and more screams of delight " .The lifeguards are at full attention now. One, with an, . orange bandanna, sunglasses, shoes flopping off his feet, -patrols the length of the pool, shaking a bamboo stick at pool rule violators. -. - ilii . HOWARD SIMMONS DAILY NEWS Oscar Rodriguez stands over the edge of the pool, whistle in mouth, blowing furiously. He points, and at the end of his finger is 8-year-old Charles McMillan, guilty of doing a vicious belly flop. "Out!" Rodriguez says. "Stand right here on this line and don't move for five minutes!" Charles stands with his hands on his hips, pouting and staring at the water. ' , "They need to do what I say or get out," Rodriguez says. "It's for their safety." . Rodriguez, 20, acknowledges there won't be any teens standing on his punishment line you can make an , ... , . gee POOL Page 20 "Whirlpooling" burst into New York's summer vocabulary a year ago, and, despite added police and campaigns to educate the city's teenage swimmers, the plague of sex attacks is back. The city's pools have been open for just nine days and already there have been 10 reported incidents. Over the weekend, the Daily News sent reporters to two pools where attacks occurred. At one, we found stricter lifeguard, a calmer atmosphere and some wary swimmers and parents. At the other, we found worse. By LAUREN TERRAZZANO Special to The News .The city's Sunset Park swimming pool yesterday was awash in flouted rules, filth and fear. In the locker rooms, no one checked that swimmers took showers. The toilets didn't flush, and urine overflowed. One part of the pool was avoided by all there was human waste on the bottom. In the pool, two swimmers were tossed out for trying to have sex in the water. Another woman told of having been "whirlpooled" the day before. And the atmosphere of verbal sexual harassment was so pervasive at the Brooklyn pool that dozens of teenage girls and young women broke one of the cardinal health rules only swimsuits and towels allowed in the water and at pool-side. Between 30 and 40 women out of 1,699 poolgoers yesterday were clad in oversized T-shirts their latest weapon 10th assault in a city pool A weekend incident at Mullaly Pool in the Bronx has brought the number of sex attacks at city pools this summer to 10, police said yesterday. The victim, a girl, 12, told cops she was swim' ming in the pool on Je rome Ave. at 4:20 p.m. Sat urday when a group of males swarmed in and one of them fondled her. The attackers fled and no arrest was made, said police spokesman Sgt. John McClusky. The first sex attack of summer was July 3 in the Sunset Park Pool in Brooklyn when a 13-year-old girl was abused by six teens in an act known as "whirlpooling." Meanwhile, there have been two gun incidents at city pools. Cops Saturday arrested a boy, 14, with a loaded gun. Oi July 7, at Haffen Pool in the Bronx, a 21-yearo!d;swimmer was shot after midnight while the pool was closed. t. .-, r ' AI Baker against groping hands. - No one stopped them. "They grab at your butt or your chest . . . the T-shirt protects you," said Lisa Solero, 14, explaining that she wouldn't swim without one. Just ask 14-year-old Tamnia S. how bad it can get Yesterday, she was reluctant to leave her boyfriend's side after what she said happened to her on Saturday. She said four boys threw her in, submerged her, while one screamed, "Let's rape the bitch under water." Kicking and screaming, she said she managed to wrestle free from her would-be attackers, two of whom she knew. She told her parents, but didnt alert lifeguards or police on duty because she said she was embarrassed. She was also afraid they'd ignore her. "So many things happen in front of their faces and they don't do nothing but stand there and talk to each other," she said. "What are they waiting for, someone to get raped?" Yesterday, she, too, was clad in a T-shirt Tamnia's story was similar to several yesterday. It was just a week after the city's pools o opened and already there had & been 10 sexual incidents 5 from fondlings to attempted z rape and a shooting 3 At Sunset Park last week, a w 22-year-old man was arrested ' and charged with sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl after ' a group of men formed a s "whirlpool" around her. " a p The troubles led Parks Com- 4i ; missioner Henry Stern to ar- L ? gue that the pools are safer . ; than the streets and to con-

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