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Worcester police step up patrols after lifeguard stabbed

July 6, 2021 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — 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.”

The lifeguard, whose name has not been made public, was stabbed at Bell Pond about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police at first said four people were charged but later dropped charges against one. They face arraignment Tuesday. They are 22, 19 and 17.

The lifeguard 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.