OUTREMONT – A bizarre altercation at a quiet neighbourhood pool involving two lifeguards and the mother of a toddler has triggered a police investigation.
As a result a three-year-old girl ended up with abrasions on her forehead.
Wednesday afternoon, a lifeguard at the children’s pool at the Piscine John F. Kennedy told Vero Shapiro that her daughter needed to wear a bikini top at the pool but she refused.
“And from there, there was an escalation of violence,” said Marie Cinq-Mars, the borough mayor.
The altercation turned physical enough that the two lifeguards involved called the police, who arrived and took statements, and ended up with Shapiro’s daughter somehow suffering from abrasions to her forehead.
Montreal police characterized the two lifeguards as “victims” and the mother as a “suspect.” No charges have been laid.
Shapiro was so angered by the incident that she wrote on her Facebook page in French that,
“I naively believed that lifeguards were there to save lives, not to send kids to the hospital.”
She did not respond to comment requests left by Global News.
Cinq-Mars said it was the first time in her seven-year tenure as borough mayor that an incident like this has happened, and it is made even stranger by the fact that there isn’t a rule on the books prohibiting juveniles from going topless.
“It should be the parent’s choice, whether the parent was to have his kid with a top or without a top,” she said.
Residents are split on the issue.
One mother, Pascale Navert, described it as “deplorable” but added that it was likely a he-said-she-said situation.
Another passerby who talked to Global News said the fact that the lifeguard stepped in at all “is so ridiculous I can’t even believe I’m speaking about it.”
An internal investigation at the borough level is also underway, Cinq-Mars said.