Being a lifeguard is to balance the very important job of protecting the lives of swimmers with the crushing monotony of sitting in the sun, twirling a whistle all day. 28-year-old lifeguard Erlen Rodriguez felt he could get stoned before heading to his job at the Wagner pool on E. 124th street, but was pulled over after running a red light and almost killing pedestrians in the street. According to the Post, inside Rodriguez’s 1992 Honda was “a joint and a golfball-sized bag of marijuana,” along with his 26-year-old girlfriend and their two children—ages 5 and 11—in the backseat.
He said he was late for his 10:45 a.m. shift and “just smoked a little bit of marijuana.” The couple was charged with endangering the welfare of the children, and possession, among other things. Children’s Services now have custody of the two kids. Rodriguez, who has worked as a lifeguard intermittently since 2000, was paid $16/hr for his stint at the Wagner pool, where he’d only started this week. This incident follows the tragic drowning of a man in a Staten Island pool on Wednesday as he and a friend were doing breathing exercises. Two lifeguards are on duty, and the incident remains under investigation.
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