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New Hyde Park Closes Basketball Courts Over Bad Behavior From Outsiders

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A border battle has erupted over basketball on Long Island.

As CBS2's Valerie Castro reported, the Village of New Hyde Park has shut out players at one park after residents complained about rowdy outsiders taking over the courts.

There is no one playing hoops on the basketball courts at the Michael J. Nuzzi Field in New Hyde Park. That is because there are no longer any rims on the backboards.

Park managers removed them after numerous complaints from residents about teens and young adults from neighboring communities outside the village bullying locals.

"We had fist fights already here," said Nanette Ambrosch, who lives right next to the park.

Ambrosch said despite signs declaring that the courts are for village residents only, she claims outsiders would hang out smoking marijuana while frightening neighbors.

"I have a 3-year-old grandson, and I don't even want to take him in there anymore, because of the foul language. They came and urinated right here," she said, pointing to a tree on the parkway in front of her house.

The courts are also next to a kiddie playground popular with parents.

"This is a tiny little park, and it should be for the smaller children, and the parents are afraid to bring their kids," said Jean Rezin.

Village trustees said they were forced to act after police were called to the basketball courts.

Now, the village is compiling a list of residents for park managers to check who comes in and who comes out.

"I think we should be able to have proof to show residence," Rezin said. "They do that next door in Floral Park."

The Floral Park pool is directly across from the New Hyde Park basketball courts. Employees do check residency status there.

Some Floral Park residents said they understood their neighbors' concerns, but questioned punishing everyone.

"I think it's tough for people who would like to use it that are very law abiding. They don't curse or damage the equipment," said Carol O'Neill of Floral Park. "They're the ones that are going to suffer for it."

Meanwhile, the courts will remain closed for the rest of the summer.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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