New rules, safety measures implemented after ‘large fight’ at Merrifield Pool

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 1:43 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Mishawaka’s Merrifield Park Pool was closed on Wednesday, on one of the hottest days of the year.

It will remain closed until further notice.

Police were called to the pool at about 7:30 Tuesday night to respond to a large fight.

Officers found 25 to 30 juveniles were involved, and a few hundred innocent bystanders were on the grounds.

Some of the incident was captured on video and posted to social media. It shows pushing and shoving amongst people in a group that seems to be watching to males exchange a flurry of punches.

“After hearing about the events last night, I ordered the pool closed and it will be closed until further notice, and we will re-open only when we can give reasonable assurance to our staff, to our park patrons, pool patrons, and our citizens, that they are safe coming to his pool,” said Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood.

On Wednesday, the city announced several steps that will be taken to improve safety at the pool.

From here on out, there will be no more day passes that allow someone to pay at the door and anonymously walk inside.

Future patrons will need to have a season pass to gain admittance to Merrifield, which requires them to have their name and address on file with the city.

Another change requires anyone under the age of 18 to be accompanied by their parent or guardian.

Furthermore, the city will hire two security guards to work the pool during all open-swim hours and security cameras will be installed.

The pool will also close one hour earlier on weekdays.

“We cannot have our staff dealing with this kind of behavior when they’re also trying to make sure no one is getting, no one downs in the pool or anything else that can go on in the pool,” said Mishawaka Parks Director Phil Blasko.

No arrests have been made although two teens have been banished from setting foot on Mishawaka Park property for at least one year.

Police say medics attended to just one injury.

A male juvenile became angry and struck a window with his hand. The glass broke and caused injuries to his hand and arms.

Original Post:

Officials in Mishawaka are implementing some new rules and safety measures after police responded to a “large fight” at the Merrifield Pool complex on Tuesday night.

Officers were called to the complex in the 1000 block of E. Mishawaka Avenue around 7:30 p.m. regarding a large fight in progress involving approximately 25-30 minors inside and outside of the complex.

Police say some of the minors shot airsoft guns at pool staff and others, along with taking part in other physical altercations. When officers arrived, they broke up numerous fights and dispersed the crowd off the property.

Once the scene was secured, medics tended to one minor that suffered cuts to the hand and arm. This was caused by the minor punching his hand through a window to an entry door.

No other injuries were reported to police.

Police served two minors with banishment orders from all city park properties due to their actions at the pool. No arrests were made, but the investigation into this incident is active.

The Mayor’s Office, along with the city’s parks department and police department, met today to discuss safety measures for the pool complex. Merrifield Pool Complex will be closed until all safety measures are in place.

These measures include, but not limited to:

  • The complex will operate on Season Pass entry only, which includes youth, adult, senior and family passes.
  • Season passes will require a valid driver’s license or a valid state ID.
  • Security Officers on property during public open swim hours: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
  • Any person under 18 years of age must be accompanied with a parent or guardian to enter complex.
  • No bags allowed outside the locker rooms.
  • Security Cameras will be installed in and around the complex.
  • Extra Police Patrols will be seen during these hours.

Copyright 2022 WNDU. All rights reserved.