Text messages among visitors escalated Playland fracas, Westchester police chief tells legislators

WHITE PLAINS — A fracas at Playland Amusement Park in Rye that began after Muslim women were barred from some rides due to their traditional head scarves escalated when parkgoers alerted each other via text messages, the county police commissioner said Tuesday.

In all, 15 people were arrested in the Aug. 30 incident.

With the texts, a gathering at the park’s police precinct grew from 25 to about 100 people “in five or six minutes,” Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth told Westchester County legislators in the Michaelian Office Building.

When some in that group became unruly, 10 arrests were made, he said.

The incident started when some people became angry over a policy banning headgear, including the scarves, on rides. Five were arrested in the initial confrontation.
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