Published: Wednesday, Jun. 01, 2011 / Updated: Wednesday, Jun. 01, 2011 01:47 PM
Rebel bathing suit stirs up fuss at Rock Hill pool
ROCK HILL –
A family gathering at a Rock Hill apartment complex pool last weekend nearly turned violent when someone pointed a gun at a man because one of his friends was wearing a bathing suit featuring a rebel flag.
Christopher Gainey, 20, lives in the Paces River apartments. He, his girlfriend, three cousins, one of the cousin’s girlfriends and his father had been hanging out at the complex’s pool throughout Sunday.
A group of people, numbering between 10 to 15, asked Gainey if they could use the hot tub, and Gainey and his family said yes.
“We said, ‘It’s Memorial Day weekend, we’re here to have a good time like everyone,’” Gainey told The Herald on Tuesday.
Someone in the group, who Gainey said seemed to be in his teens, asked once again if they could use the hot tub. When they said yes again, the teen said they “didn’t need their attitude.”
Gainey said only one of the group members, a female, lives in the complex, and it was she who began taunting his cousin’s girlfriend about her bikini, which featured a “stars and bars rebel flag.” The woman called the Gainey and his family racists, according to a Rock Hill Police report.
The cousin’s girlfriend was “born and raised in the South,” Gainey said. “That’s not racism or anything. … Everybody was going at her about her bathing suit, but nobody said anything about it before.”
The girlfriend walked off from the pool.
Gainey said he encouraged everyone to just continue having a good time, but when members of the group began to surround him, he stood up.
Gainey said at least two other families were at the pool, but he didn’t notice if they had a reaction to the scene because he was focused on what was going on in front of him.
One from the group pulled out a a semi-automatic pistol, according to the police report. Gainey said the suspect, who looked to be a teenager, stood there with the gun.
Gainey said he heard one of his cousins mention the gun, and he told his family to get his younger cousin away from the area. One of the family members called the police.
The unknown gunman fled when he realized the police had been called, the report states.
Gainey said people from other apartment complexes come to use the Paces River pool, but the complex’s residents are supposed to have pool passes for their guests.
Bringing at least 10 guests to the pool, when only one is a resident, is against the rules, he said.
A Paces River representative could not be reached Tuesday.