Worcester police are stepping up patrols at the city's parks and swimming areas after a 17-year-old lifeguard was stabbed and beaten shortly after a group of young men was asked to stop smoking and drinking at a park.
“We will not tolerate those who would use violence to take away the peace of our public spaces,” Chief Steven Sargent said. “I pray for the recovery of the victim and thank the officers for their swift response that led to the perpetrators being held accountable.”
Worcester officers responded to Bell Pond in the city at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday for a report of several males attacking the lifeguard on duty, police said in a statement.
Upon arrival, the suspects were gone but officers found a 17-year-old male lifeguard suffering from stab wounds. The victim was given aid at the scene before being taken to the hospital.
Police learned that a group of men had been smoking and drinking in the area and were told that they had to stop or would be asked to leave, police said.
One of those people became “verbally aggressive and threatening," police said.
He left the park but returned a short time later with others and attacked the victim, who was also struck with a stick.
Police at first said four people were charged but later dropped charges against one. They face arraignment Tuesday. They are 22, 19 and 17. They face a variety of charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace. It could not be determined if they had attorneys.
The lifeguard, whose name has not been made public, was taken to the hospital and is now recovering at home, said Robert Antonelli, the city's assistant commissioner of Parks & Recreation.
The teen had only been a lifeguard for a few weeks. Antonelli said the city is already struggling to hire enough lifeguards.
This article was originally published on July 05, 2021.