The Liberty Aquatic Center was closed yesterday immediately after morning swim lessons because a group of young men invaded the pool, pushed the life guards around and in general bullied people, said Nancy Goodspeed, spokeswoman for the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department.
One report that a lifeguard was punched has yet to be confirmed.
“Staff vehicles were ‘keyed’ and the one with the most damages will run about $1,500 to repair,” Goodspeed said.
Police reports were filed on the vandalism before a decision was made to shut the pool down for the day, Goodspeed added.
Today, Spokane Police Department sent two officers to be at the pool during the open swim time.
“The SPD Bike Patrol has also stopped by,” Goodspeed said, “and we believe today’s brush fire may have been set by the same group of kids.”
Fire crews were able to contain the brush fire, which was reported at 1:09 p.m.
Police and fire spokesmen at this time are unable to confirm the link between the fire and troubles at the aquatic center.
The Liberty pool is open again but all evening swim lessons have been moved to Comstock through the end of this session on July 29. Morning swim lessons will continue as scheduled at Liberty pool.
“Safety for staff, kids and families is paramount for us, but it’s also a great shame that we have to have a police presence at a swimming pool for kids,” Goodspeed said. “By the way, this is a perfect summer day and Liberty Pool only has five kids in it.”