“I’m responsible for what happens on the beach,” said Barrington Recreation Director John Taylor. “It’s my job to protect against someone getting hurt.”
Taylor was reacting Tuesday to a Barrington father’s response to the recreation director’s request to knock down a sandcastle built on Barrington Beach by his daughter last weekend. The story aired first on WJAR-TV. It was picked up by the Providence Journal and the Barrington Times, among other media outlets.
Taylor said the sandcastle – not prohibited on the beach – simply “was so big and so tall and had boards sticking out of it.” He estimated that it was about 2.5-feet high and up to 4 feet long.
The boards, reportedly with nails in them, made it a liability, Taylor said. But he probably would have asked the father to tear it down because of its size even without the boards.
“I asked nicely for him to take it down. He said he wouldn’t do it – not in front of his daughter. He said I could do it later."
“Maybe it was a matter of interpretation,” Taylor said. “I saw it as a hazard; he didn’t. I’m conscious of how accidents happen. I haven’t had any accidents.”
Taylor also sees the media reaction to his request to tear down the sandcastle “as overblown.”
“It’s the first time I’ve done that,” he said of asking that a sandcastle be torn down. "I had somebody call me and say I was the biggest jerk in Rhode Island."
Taylor repeated that Barrington does not prohibit building sandcastles on the beach. And there are no guidelines.