But several park rangers, who asked not to be named, said behind the scenes they were unprepared for hostilities they faced from some attendees, who were largely not wearing face masks.
“I did not realize that this event was happening until basically the park was full of people flying Trump flags,” one ranger said. “There was no preparation for it, and then we basically got left out to fend for ourselves.”
One attendee — who carried a handgun on his waist, in violation of state park rules — allegedly accosted another guest for wearing a mask. Another park-goer, who had a rainbow pride pin on their bag, was called a homophobic slur. Some attendees also threatened to tip over a park ranger’s truck.
Healey said they received maybe one or two 911 calls during the event, but they were mostly about verbal incidents. He said the targeting of on-duty park rangers — who are predominately teens and young adults — is a trend the department has observed throughout the summer.
“It stinks because basically our summertime employees are all like, you know, kids,” he said. “I think that if that happened today and they were targeting rangers, that’s really regrettable. But I would kind of chalk that up to the general level of ugliness that COVID has sort of brought out.”
This is the US today under the Republican thugs out to keep the power that brings them wealth is threatening kids on summer jobs. How is this anything to be proud of? Hugs