Monroe County offers "sincere apology" to man locked inside Durand Eastman Park

Durand Eastman gate.jpg
(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Monroe County officials have apologized to an Irondequoit man after he was locked inside Durand Eastman Park overnight last month.

On the evening of June 18, Nick Foos had driven inside the park, went for a walk, and tried to leave - only to find the gate had been locked. Signs at the park said it closed at 11 p.m., but it was shortly after 10 p.m. and Foos said all three gates were padlocked.

After multiple calls to police were unsuccessful, Foos took to Twitter to try to get ahold of someone to get him out. No one responded and eventually he left the park around 4 a.m. after calling for an Uber.

The following day, Monroe County Parks Director Larry Staub said in a statement that a guard drove through the park at 10:15 p.m. and "did not see any vehicles parked in any of the designated parking areas during his inspection of the park."

An email sent by Staub to Foos on Thursday said while there is "room for debate" about gates and ideal operating hours, Foos should not have been prevented from returning home.

"That is not right under any circumstances, no matter the hours posted on a sign," Staub said.

"As a result of your lock-in, we are reviewing the 'Hours of Operation' and 'Gate Closure' signs posted at our Parks, along with the information posted on our website, to provide clear direction to our visitors in an effort to avoid unintended situations like yours," Staub continued.

The message concluded by suggesting that first responders cut the lock on the gate in the event of this happening again in the future and offering a "sincere apology" for Foos' experience.