Waterpark Brawl

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If you've ever visited a waterpark or commercial swimming pool, you understand there exists an unspoken, but almost universally recognized social contract: A beach towel draped on a lounge chair means both the towel and the seat are “taken.” Even mildly disturbing that diplomatic code can result in an ugly confrontation.

Which is why it is shocking, yet somewhat understandable, to learn of a 40-person brawl that began as a dispute over a beach towel.

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The fight took place last August at the Raging Waters waterpark in Sacramento, Calif., near the lazy river. Two women, each at the park with their families, had a misunderstanding about who took whose towel. Things quickly escalated as members from both families descended to support their relative, with some lobbing insults and others throwing fists.

All told, about 40 people were involved in the brawl, including one man who tried to step in and stop the fight, but was instead rendered unconscious, without a heartbeat. (Thankfully, he was resuscitated before being taken to the hospital.) Once police were on site and the brawl successfully broken up, staff closed the park for the day.

While there was no definitive answer as to who stole whose towel, there’s one takeaway we can all agree on: Never mess with someone else’s beach towel.

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