May 29, 2014 / Brooklyn news / Williamsburg / Meadows of Shame

G’point mom: Women, kids locked in McCarren Park bathroom on Memorial Day

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

They were trapped in the water closet.

A woman claims a vindictive parks employee locked her and seven other women and children in a McCarren Park bathroom at closing time on Memorial Day because the line to the loo was taking too long. The Greenpoint woman said she is angry about the incident, which she says left her screaming and pounding on the bathroom door while the woman’s five-year-old daughter and boyfriend stood outside. The captivity lasted a few long, scary minutes and it was no accident, she said.

“It was so obviously occupied,” said Jenny Harris, who works across the street at Beacon’s Closet and was spending the day at the Williamsburg greensward with her family and friends when she says she got locked in. “It was malicious and kind of twisted. There is no reason for that to ever happen.”

The park worker was angry that the handful of women on line for the park bathroom were still waiting a few minutes after 7 pm, when the comfort station was scheduled to close, Harris said.

The line was about eight women deep when an employee came by and told those waiting they would have to step aside because it was time to lock the lavatory. The ladies argued that they had been waiting since before closing time and that the facilities were so foul they had left the park and come back with their own toilet paper.

The staffer bowed out of the confrontation, but minutes later, Harris was in a stall and heard a slam and the unmistakable sound of a deadbolt being pulled, she said.

She finished her business and left the stall to find that she, the woman and infant in the next stall, and five of her other line-mates were all trapped, she said.

Harris and a couple of others banged on the door and screamed to be let out, she said. Another few minutes passed before a worker opened the door, smirking, she claimed.

“He had this look on his face like ‘Ha ha. This is super funny,’ ” said Harris of the young man. “You would not have that look on your face if you were not the one who did it.”

She said she is certain that the groundskeeper knew the restroom was occupied.

“It is a small bathroom and you cannot miss people in line waiting,” she said.

Harris said she filed a complaint with the city.

A parks department spokeswoman said the agency is investigating the incident.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Clarity added.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Who Is In Charge from Greenpoint says:
Is the city responsible for these workers or OSA? Who do they report to? Are they in a union or can they be fired?
May 28, 2014, 9:46 pm
Eric says:
Unlawful imprisonment charges are pending against the employee, I can assume?
May 28, 2014, 10:26 pm
Mark from Williamsburg says:
Thanks unions.
May 28, 2014, 10:53 pm
Ralph from P-Heights says:
This is classic, I don't care about anyone but myself, New York City style attitude from both parties. I bet there is more to it then what is written above. Assuming perhaps a little attitude came from both groups prior to the door slamming locked. B¡t¢h how you may, but facts are always skewed when 1 party calls the paper. I bet they sue, they finally "got a case."
May 29, 2014, 2:44 am
bob from gpt says:
Should have left them in there overnight, disrespectful people... When they close an EZ Pass lane, I bet these are the same idiots who think they are entitled to still go through it. Plan ahead and get to the bathroom before it is scheduled to close!
May 29, 2014, 7:42 am
Jerri says:
The employees should be fired. OSA and the Parks department should be glad that nobody had a medical emergency during those minutes they were locked inside. The moms should have called 911 and had the fire department come and rip the door off.
If these angry , awful employees don't know how to run a line to get the restrooms locked at a certain time that's their problem. Looks like some dumb city employee in a hurry will cost them a job. Good.
May 29, 2014, 7:56 am
John from GPT says:
If the daughter and boy friend were waiting outside why didn't they say something?
May 29, 2014, 8:51 am
Ted from Willllllsss says:
The 5 year old daughter had a boyfriend?

Or does the writer mean the woman's boyfriends and her daughter waited outside.

And yeah, why didn't her 5 year old daughter's boyfriend say anything? We need answers! And sentence structure! And Kale Chips! And tight jeans! And the reason of the great John Wasserman! What's the world coming to!?
May 29, 2014, 9:27 am
Jenny Harris from Greenpoint says:
I hate to inform you that there was liberty taking with this story. It is important that the person responsible gets reprimanded, but if you do not get the incident correct it and the details are exaggerated... it becomes more of a storyline full of holes and the questioning begins. The point is that people got locked in a public bathroom. End of story.
Jenny Harris
May 29, 2014, 10:48 am
Lisa from Williamsburg says:
from the headline of "trapped", I thought a significant amount of time had elapsed. A few minutes? As in probably five? While I sympathize to some degree, it's not as if their safety was in jeopardy given that they had family right on the other side. All it took was someone on the other side saying, "hey, can you please open the door?"
May 29, 2014, 2 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Now, I've been holding off here for quite a while, and if you don't mind, I'd like to point out that we are all missing a very important factor in all of this. In doing this, we are straying from the thing that really matters. Now if you'll pardon me, I'm about to read this article. I can say this, though. The woman probably doesn't know how to open doors very well. More on this later.
John Wasserman/Patriot/J-Wass Storm Door and Roof
May 29, 2014, 2:37 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Ah, yes. Just as I suspected.
Pardon the interruption.
May 29, 2014, 3:53 pm
ty from pps says:
I thought it was a pull door, but it turned out it was a push door.

I'm always right.
May 29, 2014, 5:24 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
The Parks Dept is a disgrace. Something needs to be done. They never leave the bathrooms open during posted times in our neighborhood.
May 29, 2014, 8:02 pm
Jerri says:
Lisa, you idiot, it doesn't matter how long they were LOCKED in with KEYED lock. It is that it was done intentionally.
May 29, 2014, 8:07 pm
ty from pps says:
Very cute, Mr. 6:24pm. I've said this before... you should try to be funny when you make fake posts.
May 30, 2014, 7:38 am
Vinny Polack from Greenpoint says:
City employees that interact with the public should be required to wear a tag with their first name and ID number in a visible place at all times to make complaints easier. Unions become a bad thing when accountability is non-existent.
May 30, 2014, 12:16 pm
okd time brooklyn from slope says:
Unions forever!!!
May 31, 2014, 12:48 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: