The US Open, the biggest tennis event in New York, is always kicked off with a big Kids Day, and US Open 2016 is no different, but an attempted abduction caused security to be increased. The US Open Kids Day, which includes a day of fun with musical performances and interactive games at Arthur Ashe Stadium, seemed a good place for someone up to no good to try a grab a little girl from a crowd of people, but luckily, she fought back.
Not far away in Howard Beach, new security cameras have been installed around a local park after a rape and murder in broad daylight has locals concerned for their safety. Thirty year old Karina Vetrano was found with her teeth broken and her clothes torn after she went for an afternoon run. It has been three weeks since the Vetrano attack, and police still have no persons of interest. DNA evidence was found on Vetrano, but so far, there has been no match, per The Inquisitr.
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At Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, parents are holding on to their children a bit tighter after an attempted abduction on the first day of the US Open 2016. Marklina Quaye, a parent at the event, explained that the scare was just a reminder that you can never be too safe to the New York Daily News.
“Now we’re just going to hold them a little tighter.”
Police explained that a man approached a little girl and grabbed her from behind by the waist. The man ordered the girl to come with him, but she pulled away and kicked the man. Parents were glad to see that in a crisis, children know what to do.
“That’s what we teach our kids: to be as loud as possible, fight back, and try to find one of us.”
Police are describing the suspect as white, 25 to 30 years old, 200 pounds, and between 5-feet-8 and 5-feet-11. He has a tattoo with words on his right wrist and was last seen wearing a red striped shirt, khaki shorts, and sunglasses.
My stomach dropped when I read this story this morning. While on vacation, my son wanted to go out to the pool... https://t.co/ERWFerWrpx— Heather O'Rourke (@heatherorourke7) August 29, 2016
Fans who attend the US Open can expect even more security that usual at this year’s tennis event. Newsday says that the newly renovated Flushing Meadows facility will see more of an NYPD presence than in year’s past. The US Open expects to draw over 700 thousand fans to one of the top tennis events in the world, which attracts the biggest names in tennis.
The NYPD Deputy Scott Shanley wants fans to feel confident that there will be a proactive security presence.
“With the creation of the Critical Response Command, we have a significantly larger counterterrorism footprint at the U.S. Open this year, and we’re able to provide much more highly trained and equipped tactical assets for the Open to provide security.”
There will be more uniformed officers on the property, as well as those visibly armed with semi-automatic weapons, which is just one more change that fans will see in addition to the newly operational retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium, which will allow tennis to go on, despite New York’s late summer rain storms.
As the next biggest international sporting event since the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics, The US Open has the security input of the FBI as well as the Department of Homeland Security. New security check requirements are now in place for the whole US Open Tennis Event.
U.S. Open officials are encouraging fans to arrive early to pass through security screening. Fans can bring in one bag each, no bigger than 12-inches wide, 12-inches high and 16-inches long. All bags are subject to search.
The following items are not permitted inside the gates:
- Hard coolers or like containers
- Sealed packages of any kind
- Bottles or cans (glass or metal)
- Aerosol cans or noisemaking devices
- Video cameras or recording devices
- Computers or laptops
- Food (except in limited quantities, or for medical, dietary or infant purposes)
- Animals (unless a service animal)
- Flags, banners or signs
- Laser pointing devices
- Tennis rackets
- Drones or other model aircraft
- “Selfie” sticks or other telescopic devices
[Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images]