D.C. Park Police Shut Down A Bernard Tomic-Viktor Troicki Practice [Video]

by Tom Gainey | July 22nd, 2016, 2:39 pm

With severe weather rolling into Washington D.C., local park police had to stop a practice session between Bernard Tomic and Viktor Troicki earlier this week on Tuesday. And the altercation in Rock Creek Park was captured on video:

The warning proved correct as severe weather did move in later disrupting the event. However, should the tournament officials be responsible for handling weather situations and not a random park officer? And was trouble always follow these two?

Troicki ended up losing to Ryan Harrison while Tomic lost yesterday to Ivo Karlovic.

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5 Comments for D.C. Park Police Shut Down A Bernard Tomic-Viktor Troicki Practice [Video]

MMT Says:

The story behind the story is a bit nuanced: the tennis center sits on a national park, and by law, when the National Weather Service declares severe weather imminent (as it had) everyone is required to move to shelter. The park police are required to enforce this law for the safety of all park goers, and no exception is made for professional tennis players.

The players have indicated they were told only that they had 10 minutes to get off the court, but they weren’t told why, nor the special condition of being in a national park. They may have believed they were being warned of coming rain, and not the legal requirement to move to shelter. Also, there is no indication that the tournament officials attempted to get them off the court themselves, but they obviously elicited the attention of park police, as is evident in the video.

Now, I understand that the officer has a job to do, and he will be in some hot water if something happens to someone who remained on the court despite the impending severe weather. But my opinion is that police culture in this country has to change, because ultimately he was dealing with a couple of recalcitrant tennis players who , like a child complying as slowly as possible and being very annoying, were primarily putting themselves at risk, and should have been treated accordingly.

MARY Healey Says:

If the two players were Nadal and Federer the attitude and words of the police officer would no doubt ben entirely different.
Just adds to the notion that $$$$$$$$ buys not only power but respect or lack of thereof. Changes are desperately needed in our country.

Okiegal Says:

In Oklahoma…if you’re told to get off the golf course, tennis court, baseball or football field, you do it!! If you don’t…..it could be the land of Oz for you!! Tornado warnings are taken very seriously because lightening usually accompanies them along with hail. We had a boy get killed on the football field at our local college because of lightening. I realize this scenario had nothing to do with a tornado warning, strictly an electrical storm……but they can be very scary too!! Better safe than sorry…..TAKE HEED AND SEEK SHELTER!!

MMT Says:

Mary – I’m not certain the officers would have known who Federer and Nadal are, let alone cared. I spoke with another officer (not this officer, but another one) last year who said he’d never even seen a tennis match on TV. We are in a bit of a bubble because we eat/sleep/breathe this stuff, but if the most famous cricketer in the world showed up on my door step, I’d probably ask him what he wanted. Having said that, I think we are in agreement that the officer was too aggressive.

And Okiegal – you are correct: for the player’s safety they should have heeded the instructions of the police officer, but to hear them tell it, because they’d only been warned of impending rain (not severe weather, nor the law about national parks) it seemed to them like they were being chased off the court as though squatters who had no right to be there. Having said that, they really should have move first and ask questions second.

lakie Says:

ignorance of law is not a valid excuse

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