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Many families gathering at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte had their Memorial Day gathering interrupted by groups of people that began fighting.
Around 6:30 p.m. Monday, several fights broke out between groups of young people that closed down the park and beach for about an hour and a half. Ten people were arrested, mainly for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
"First thing I did this morning was talk to our law department about looking at other cities around parental responsibility and what they're doing about holding parents responsible for their children's actions, but also talking with our judges to make sure they hold young people accountable for their actions and talking to the police chief about what the plan is going forward," said Mayor Lovely Warren, D-Rochester.
Monroe County controls Ontario Beach Park. The Sheriff's Office works together with the Rochester Police Department in patrolling the park and beach.
According to County Parks, extra patrols from both agencies were on duty for the holiday weekend.
"It's less of a societal problem, less of a community problem and I think it's all a parenting problem. The culprits here are all youth, they're all teenagers and they all have parents. We know that biologically that they all have parents, so where were those parents and why weren't those parents keeping tabs on their kids and why weren't they with their kids on a Memorial Day?" asked Parks Director Larry Staub.
The Charlotte Community Association calls those causing trouble here "opportunists." They said they know when police presence is increased, then use social media to let one another know when the coast is clear to move in.
Community leaders believe a more proactive approach is needed to curtail this type of violence.
"It'd be great to have more of the PAC-TAC people, citizens patrols, just people aware of the surroundings and if they see something start, they get on the phone and call 911. A lot of times people don't do that. They say 'I don't want to get involved.' You've got to get involved," said Mike Parker, Charlotte Community Association President.
Tuesday was rather quiet at Ontario Beach Park, as families were out enjoying the summer-like weather.
"That's why I have my grandson out here today, it's safer. The safe time to be out here is early in the morning on a day like this. I got my grandson and we just come out here and enjoy the day," said Cody Pinkins, Rochester.
Construction on a new marina is underway at the Port of Rochester. Other development plans call for a hotel along with residential and commercial properties. The actions of some on Monday is not what the city has in mind as it attempts to draw more residents and visitors to the Charlotte neighborhood.
- See more at: http://rochester.twcnews.com/content/news/742114/mayor-calls-for-action-following-fights-at-rochester-s-ontario-beach-park/#sthash.J7tpkoEr.dpuf