The Hamptons Police responded to an incident in Sag Harbor involving multiple leaf blowers and children attempting to walk to school.
The incident took place last Wednesday, the first day of classes for the 2017-2018 school year.
A group of young school children were en route to school and were walking by a yard in which about a dozen grounds crew workers were operating powerful leaf blowers.
What happened next is the subject of some dispute. The schoolchildren report that the workers with leaf blowers purposely turned their machines on the youngest of them, causing the kids to be scattered back down the sidewalk—thus making it impossible for them to get to school by that route.
Numerous eyewitnesses corroborated this version of events, some adding that a few of the children even appeared to become airborne due to the combined force of the multiple leaf blowers.
However, according to Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch, the workers with the leaf blowers, while not denying that the incident had taken place, insist their actions were unintentional.
“They are saying it was an overcast morning and visibility was poor,” Hirsch explained. “They say that insufficient light, combined with all of the swirling debris kicked up by their machines, made it impossible for them to see the small children coming towards them.”
Hirsch said it would be inappropriate at this time to comment on the likelihood of such an incident being an accident, but he recommended that parents take precautions going forward.
“It might not be very fashionable, but I say you should dress your kids in the brightest possible colors, so that these guys can see them coming. Better safe than sorry.”