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June 27, 2008
Update: Jamestown lifeguards accused of drinking, fired
JAMESTOWN –– Three lifeguards who police said were drinking alcohol while on the job Thursday were fired yesterday, according to William Piva, Jamestown’s recreation director.
Kristy Lebelle, 19, of 100 Asquah Drive, North Kingstown, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, first offense, a misdemeanor.
She was arraigned yesterday in district court, where she entered a not guilty plea, and released on $1,000 personal recognizance.
Lebelle is next due in court on July 11.
No charges have been filed so far against the other two lifeguards, whom police would identify only as a 17-year old man and a 17-year-old woman, both from Jamestown.
The matter remains under investigation, Police Chief Thomas P. Tighe said.
Jamestown police received a call at about 3:19 p.m. Thursday about an erratic driver on Beavertail Road headed toward Mackerel Cove Beach.
Tighe said Lebelle and the 17-year-old female, riding as her passenger, had gone to the Cumberland Farms on North Main Street and were driving back to the beach.
Lebelle’s car was swerving on the road and at one point driving on a flat tire “from an apparent impact with a curb,” the police said.
The police had to close Mackerel Cove Beach briefly as the three lifeguards were the only ones on duty at the time of the incident.
The town later recalled an off-dute lifeguard, reopening the beach until 5 p.m., the regular closing time, said Piva, the recreation director.
Piva said there were less than a dozen people on the beach at the time, and that there was no one in the water.
The three lifeguards had been suspended as of Thursday afternoon. Termination letters were mailed yesterday morning, Piva said.
Mackerel Cove Beach re-opened at its regular time this morning, but Piva said the town plans to post signs reducing the guarded beach area until more lifeguards are hired.
The town plans to readvertise the positions and raise the salary to $12 an hour from the current $10 an hour, Piva said.
Paiva said in his two years as recreation director, and 20 years as a police officer, he can’t remember any similar incidents.
“We hold them in high regard,” he said of the lifeguards, noting the training and certification they have to complete. “We expect these kids to be more mature.”
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson, with reports from Journal staff writer Maria Armental
Posted by Brandie M. Jefferson at 5:05 PM | Permalink
ED | June 27, 2008 3:21 PM link
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