NEW YORK – A Queens man went swimming at Rockaway Beach during the heat wave last weekend but ended up arrested and dragged off the beach in handcuffs for swimming past the beach closing.
Swimmers are required to leave the water at 6 p.m. when lifeguard shifts end. Andre Velasquez was in the water around 7 p.m. on Friday when he says Parks Department officers called out to him.
When he refused their request to see his driver’s license he claims the officers threw him to the ground and handcuffed him. They hauled him off barefoot and shirtless as other people on the beach watched.
A video taken from the scene as he was escorted away in cuffs shows Velasquez asking, “I’m not allowed to be in nature?”
“It was baffling and traumatizing,” Velasquez later told Gothamist.