Getting in Trouble with the Police…

Hilary Topper at Fire Island

I took my kids (my son, daughter and my daughter’s fiance) to Robert Moses Field 5 and parked all the way toward the Fire Island Lighthouse. I knew the area well because I used to swim on the bay side every summer with a swimming group plus, this was my running group’s favorite spot to run.

Fire Island

We drove over a long and narrow bridge to get to Field 5. We parked and got out. I grew up in Long Beach and I had only been to Robert Moses about five years ago for the first time. When you grow up in Long Beach, NY, you tend not to venture out east.

This was my kids first visit. “I feel like I’m rediscovering Long Island,” my son said on the car ride to Robert Moses.

“Yes, I know,” I told him. “I never saw any of these places before I started training for triathlon. The sport expanded my knowledge of Long Island parks. It’s really beautiful here.”

The Road to Fire Island

There are actually two ways to get into Fire Island via foot – a boardwalk bridge that takes you to the Lighthouse and a dirt and sandy path that goes passed the Lighthouse.

We took the boardwalk.

frozen bike at Fire Island

The boardwalk was closed. There was a big sign saying it was closed but there wasn’t a reason. The weekend before, I went with my running group and we snuck through the opening and walked on the boardwalk. As soon as we did that, my son and I heard a siren. I didn’t think anything of it.

We walked and the view was gorgeous. It felt as if we were in Africa or a place that was deserted with wild nocturnal animals.

The boardwalk was ending and guess who we saw?

The Police Vehicle

I saw the cop car waiting at the end of the boardwalk. My first instinct was to run. (My High School days suddenly came back to me.)

“Just be calm,” said Dan, my daughter’s fiance. “Let’s just walk by. Nothing will happen.”

We jump the fence in front of the cop.

The horn went off in the police vehicle

He rolled down his window. “Is there any reason why you jumped the fence when you visibly saw that the boardwalk was closed?” he said to us.

“I didn’t see the sign,” I said. I figured since I’m the old one in the group, I should do the talking. The rest of the bunch stayed quiet.

“YOU DIDN’T SEE THE SIGN?” the cop said. “Come on, it was very visible and why would you be jumping the fence if there wasn’t a sign?”

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I didn’t see it and anyway, I’ve done this before with my running group and it was okay.”

“Well, there is a reason why the sign is up,” he said. “I’m not sure why, but whatever the case, it’s a closed area.”

“Okay, we won’t do it again,” I said and we continued on our way. We thought we were getting followed but we weren’t.

And onto the Lighthouse

After the incident, we continued to walk around the Lighthouse and into Kizmet. As we walked, I couldn’t help but think that I was a bad influence on the kids.