[Editor’s Note, Aug. 31, 2018: Police had released images of men they said were wanted in connection with this case but “after conducting interviews with these individuals, it has been determined that they had no involvement in the matter and are no longer considered persons of interest.” Police have released new photos of five males they want to speak with. The below article reflects the original report.]
CALVERTON, N.Y. — Several Long Island parents are outraged after their daughters said they were groped at Splish Splash Water Park and none of the supervising adults called the police.
Children were on a field trip with the Huntington YMCA camp, when they were groped in the wave pool.
“The wave comes in and he grabs my daughter’s chest to the point where she had to pry his hands off of her,” said one mother.
Video released Wednesday by police, a week after the incident, shows some of the suspects being escorted out of the water park, after the girls got the attention of their YMCA camp counselors and park staff.
“We’re talking about an 11-year-old child,” said one mom. “She pointed out the people who touched her and nobody did anything. Nobody called the cops, they just let them walk out.”
Parents said they are the ones who had to call police after getting hearing about what happened from the camp.
They lay the blame at the feet of every adult involved, including Splish Splash staff, camp counselors and even the investigating detective.
“He said: ‘I’m sorry you feel the way, but as far as I’m concerned, I do not think splash splash did anything wrong. They got the problem out of the park,’” recounted one mother who spoke with the detective.
The YMCA said it is cooperating with law enforcement, but could not comment further.
Splish Splash released a detailed statement on the incident:
“We are working closely with the Riverhead PD on the investigation regarding the accusations by a guest visiting on Aug. 21. The guest was with her YMCA day camp when she reported to her counselor that she was touched inappropriately in the wave pool. The counselor of the Huntington YMCA group approached park staff and stated that one of her minor female campers had reported being inappropriately touched in the wave pool. Splish Splash contracts with Titan Security and they were on scene within minutes. Titan Security interviewed the YMCA counselor and minor girl for more information. The girl claimed that she was inappropriately touched by a group who were playing with a soccer ball, but did not see anyone’s face to identify them. The girl was also unable to relay any information about how she was inappropriately touched. The YMCA counselor, nor any of Splish Splash’s 5 on duty wave pool lifeguards, saw any inappropriate behavior. The YMCA camp counselor was asked by Titan Security if she would like for the police to be called. The YMCA counselor declined. She also stated that the parents didn’t need to be called because they were leaving the park soon. The YMCA counselor did, however, ask that Titan Security walk with her and the complainant girl. In the vicinity of the alleged incident, a group matching the limited description, were approached for questioning by Titan Security. The YMCA counselor again emphasized that she did not want police called and that they would be unable to positively identify the group. The counselor merely requested that the park eject the young men. Titan Security complied with the YMCA counselor’s request. They escorted the young men to the lockers, watched them gather their belongings and escorted them off property without incident.
Splish Splash takes guest complaints very seriously–especially those where minors claim they have been inappropriately touched. Our team truly cares about our guests and ensuring the safest, happiest experience. In this instance, one guest made a complaint and the security team took direction from the girl’s guardian. Splish Splash and its vendor, Titan Security, acted responsibly, thoughtfully and with care. The facts did not warrant any further action.”
New York State does have mandatory reporting laws that may apply in this case. Read about them here.
Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637) or by email at http://www.tipsubmit.com.