For reasons that cannot be logically explained, it's not unheard of for people to find themselves locked in park bathrooms for periods that extend beyond the amount of time one could stand being trapped in one of those tiled hovels (i.e., approximately 2.232 seconds). Now, one woman says she and several other park-goers were locked in a bathroom in Brooklyn's McCarren Park on purpose this weekend, and she's filing a complaint with the city to ensure no other unsuspecting bathroom attendee suffers the same fate.
According to Brooklyn Paper, Greenpoint resident Jenny Harris was hanging out in busy McCarren Park with her boyfriend and her five-year-old daughter on Memorial Day. When she went to use the bathroom shortly before 7 p.m., there were a number of women on line, even though the restrooms are locked after 7. A park worker reportedly told them the restrooms were closing soon, but the women waiting said they'd been on line for a while .
Harris made it into a stall, but says she heard the bathroom door lock soon after, trapping her, six other women, and an infant inside. She believes the park worker locked them in on purpose. "It was so obviously occupied,” she told the paper, noting that her young daughter was locked out with Harris's boyfriend on the other side. “It was malicious and kind of twisted. There is no reason for that to ever happen.”
Harris said the women trapped in the restroom banged on the door and screamed for several minutes, and eventually a worker let them out. "He had this look on his face like ‘Ha ha. This is super funny,’ ” she said. “You would not have that look on your face if you were not the one who did it.”
Geoffrey Croft of the NYC Parks Advocates told us this is one of the first times he's heard of a person potentially locking someone in a park bathroom on purpose. "If this report is accurate, she's saying clearly that there was a line," he said, calling the incident "completely outrageous." "How do you close a bathroom with people yelling and screaming?" But even if it was not intentional, he notes there are far too many incidents in which individuals are locked in bathrooms. "Last year there were a number of incidents in which people and kids were locked in bathrooms, just due to incompetence," he said. "These holiday weekends, millions of people are using our parks. That's very problematic."
Among last year's incidents, a five-year-old was locked in a bathroom in a playground in The Bronx; an eighth grader got locked in a bathroom in a Staten Island park, and a 40-year-old man was found locked in a Jamaica, Queens park overnight.
Harris, meanwhile, says she's filed a complaint with the city. A spokesperson with the Parks Department tells us, "We are aware of the issue and are conducting an investigation on the incident."