A 17-year-old lifeguard was stabbed and beaten at a pond on Independence Day in Worcester, Massachusetts, after asking a group of people who were drinking and smoking to cut it out or leave.
Worcester Police Department learned that the group was asked to leave Bell Pond and some retreated without further incident, the department said in a press release. However, one person in the group was “verbally aggressive and threatening” to the lifeguard on duty. The suspect initially left the park, but came back with a group who allegedly beat the lifeguard with a stick and stabbed him, police said.
Officers treated the teen before transporting him to a nearby hospital in an ambulance, however his injuries were non-life-threatening, authorities said. (RELATED: 13-Year-Old Girl Stabbed To Death By Her Former Friend, Another 13-Year-Old)
Robert Antonelli Jr., Assistant Commissioner of the Worcester Parks and Recreation Department, said the lifeguard was new to the job, having only finished his certification a month ago, Fox News reported. The teen also followed the protocol that has been in place for the past 25 years without any “major incidents,” according to the outlet.
“It’s a simple request, it’s a simple item, and they took it too far,” Antonelli Jr. reportedly said. “We’re not going to stand for it.” Antonelli Jr also added that the city and community at large are “not happy” about the attack and described it as “uncalled for,” according to Fox News.
Bell Pond in #Worcester is closed today after a 17 y/o lifeguard was assaulted and stabbed last night. He suffered non-life threatening injuries. @WorcesterPD arrested 4 people. #wcvb pic.twitter.com/csCTOphtm6
— Sera Congi (@seracongi) July 5, 2021
After a search of the area, police arrested four people ranging in age from 17 to 22.
Celestine Bigirimana, 22, faces the most severe charges, according to police. He is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, trespassing, resisting arrest and possession of an open container of alcohol, police said.
Two others were charged with the same dangerous weapon charge and disturbing the peace, while the fourth was detained at the scene but later released “when additional information was discovered,” police said.
Bell Pond was closed Monday and is expected to reopen Tuesday at noon. Worcester police typically make rounds at city beaches and are debating whether an increased presence is necessary due to the incident, WCVB reported.