By Staff

WORCESTER (CBS) – Worcester Police say a 17-year-old lifeguard was stabbed while working at Bell Pond after a group of men was asked to stop drinking and smoking in the park.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. Sunday night.

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Police said it all started when a small group of young men in the park was told to stop drinking and smoking or they’d be asked to leave.

Several of them left without incident but one man, identified as 22-year-old Celestine Bigirimana was described as “verbally aggressive” and threatening.

According to investigators, he left but then came back with a small group and attacked the lifeguard. During the attack, the lifeguard was stabbed and hit with a stick.

Bigirimana is now facing several charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Mohamed Abduhhalhi, 19, was arrested, as well as 23-year-old Melquan Jeffers and a 17-year-old juvenile.

The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

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Robert Antonelli is the assistant commissioner of Public Works and Parks in Worcester and oversees the lifeguard program in the city. He says what happened is uncalled for.

“A simple ask, this is all this was,” Antonelli said. “These young guards are being attacked for doing their job and trying to protect the public as a whole and we are not going to stand for that.”

The lifeguard was transported to the hospital and is now recovering at home. He had just started working at the pond.

“He was brand new,” Antonelli said. “He had just taken the class four or five weeks ago.”

Bell Pond will remain closed on Tuesday.

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Worcester Police said they will increase patrols in the area following the attack. Staff