A teenage lifeguard was doing his job at a pond in Worcester, Massachusetts, when he was stabbed on the Fourth of July.
Worcester police responded to Bell Pond around 6:30 p.m. Sunday for a report of several males attacking a lifeguard on duty, police said in a statement. The suspects were gone, but responding officers found a 17-year-old had been beaten and stabbed. The victim was given aid at the scene before being taken to a local hospital. His condition was not disclosed.
Police learned a small group of young men were smoking and drinking in the park when the lifeguard advised them that they had to stop or would be asked to leave. Several people from the group left without incident, police said, but one person was "verbally aggressive and threatening."
That man -- later identified as 22-year-old Celestine Bigirimana -- left the park but came back later with a small group and attacked the victim, police said. During the confrontation, the lifeguard was hit with a stick and stabbed.
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“Scary to think about that," said Damien Rydzewski. "He’s doing his job, enforcing the rules of the beach of the park and he’s attacked for it. Because some people just want to do their own thing. Party and whatnot.”
One swimmer told NBC10 Boston that she is careful when she visits the area.
“The area can be a little dangerous at times and I probably wouldn’t come here especially alone at night, but I feel safe during the day," said Gayle Galletta. "And it’s a great hidden swim area. Although, hearing about a lifeguard getting stabbed, I think is an absolute tragedy.”
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Shortly after police received a description of the suspect, officers chased him down in the area of Wilson Street and arrested him. Bigirimana 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.
Three other men were arrested after officers saw them come out of the woods and go into East Park.
Mohamed Abdullahi, 19, Melquan Jefferson, 23, and a 17-year-old were all charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace. Jefferson and the 17-year-old, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, were also charged with disorderly conduct.
All four suspects will be arraigned in court. It could not be determined if they had attorneys.
Officials say Bell Pond will reopen Tuesday at noon.