Brooklyn couple pleads not guilty in Rye Playland brawl
A Brooklyn couple arrested in last week's Rye Playland brawl pleaded not guilty today to charges of disorderly conduct, and their attorney says he will seek a dismissal of the charges in the coming weeks.
Fifteen people were arrested at Playland last week following a confrontation between police and a group of Muslims who were visiting Playland to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The fight was sparked when the park banned some women from a ride because of religious head coverings, which park officials say was done out of a concern for safety. Police from at least nine units were called to the scene, some in riot gear, and two rangers were injured trying to subdue the crowd.
Park officials blame the dispute on a misunderstanding, saying they repeatedly told the Muslim-American Society of New York, which organized the trip, of the headscarf ban. The group, however, says the park overreacted by using excessive force, and suggested the park's ban on head coverings is outdated.
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