Friday, April 18, 2014
Buxton police have stepped up patrols at Pleasant Point Park after receiving reports of teenagers partying at the popular swimming spot.
In this July 22, 2011 file photo, a group of swimmers enjoy Pleasant Point Park in Buxton. Buxton police have stepped up patrols at Pleasant Point Park after receiving reports of teenagers excessively partying at the popular swimming spot.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer
Police Chief Michael Grovo said seven juveniles have been cited in the past two weeks for offenses including possession of marijuana, possession of alcohol by a minor, consumption of alcohol by a minor and resisting arrest.
Pleasant Point Park, off Simpson Road, includes a ledge and rope swing popular with swimmers who use them to jump into the Saco River. The 60-acre park also is home to the ancient burial grounds of early settlers in the area.
Grovo said in the past there have been similar issues at the park, but "this year it seems to be taking on a life of its own." Some of the teenagers found engaging in illegal activity are from outside Buxton, he said.
"It's a lot of the younger crowd going down in there to drink and smoke pot. They go off and leave litter and broken glass," Grovo said. "It's a beautiful park and there's no need to leave a mess like that."
The town has received complaints about littering and broken glass in the park, which in part prompted the extra patrols. Grovo said he and other officers also are concerned about safety issues, both for visitors who may step on the broken glass and intoxicated teenagers jumping into the river.
"We're concerned because you have juveniles down there partaking in alcohol and drugs. We've had reports of a couple situations where people have been carried out of there because they're so intoxicated," Grovo said.
Police also are discouraging swimmers from jumping off the Route 202 bridge as it crosses over the Saco River near Pleasant Point Park. The two-lane bridge does not have breakdown lanes, so jumpers have to walk in travel lanes, creating a traffic hazard, Grovo said. In 2009, a 12-year-old boy was seriously injured when he was hit by a truck while he was trying to jump into the river from the bridge.
"Some (drivers) aren't always paying attention," he said. "It's only a matter of time before someone gets hit again."
Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at: