Harlingen wheelchair swings removed due to misuse

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) —Harlingen Parks and Recreation removed wheelchair swings from the park due to misuse, and one resident that helped put them up says he wants them back.

Dominik Torres lives with disabilities that require him to use a wheelchair, but he does not let his disabilities get in his way.

His mother, Velma Torres said that Dominik played a part in having the swings installed at the Koppel Memorial Playground.

PHOTO: KVEO Iris Karami via Facebook

“We know there were swings because we did the Dominik Project, which was the wheelchairs swings,” said Velma Torres. “And what it was, was Sunburst Rotary were raising money through different things to get the wheelchair swings.”

Though there are other handicap swings available, Velma said it is harder to get Dominik in and out of.

KVEO asked the city of Harlingen why the swings were removed.

“We removed them for safety because people were using them not for their intended use,” said Javier Mendez, Harlingen’s Parks and Recreation director. “People were getting on them, families, bunch of kids and so on—so they broke them.”

Mendez said that he hopes to have the swings back up by the end of this week, but wants to make plans to put gates around them so that they are not damaged.

For now, Dominik is staying positive and has a message to the community:

“They’re only for kids in wheelchairs,” said Dominik Torres.

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