2nd child in wheelchair asked to leave Crown Fountain in less than a month

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For the second time in a month, a child using a wheelchair has been asked to leave the Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park.

The latest incident, involving an 11-year-old girl, comes just weeks after the city apologized to the family of another child using a wheelchair who was also asked to leave.

Marketta Outlaw said her 11-year-old daughter Heaven loves the water, and Sunday was their first visit back to Crown Fountain since the pandemic began. But after about 30 minutes in the water, Outlaw said a security guard told her wheelchairs weren't allowed.

"[The guard said] the wheelchairs are not allowed in the water at all," Outlaw said. "And I'm like, but, we've come here numerous times. Since when can't they get in the water?"

Outlaw had researched the area previously, as she does all places she takes her daughter to make sure they are fully accessible.

When she double checked the policy she found that, as well as a report by ABC7's Will Jones.

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Earlier this month, a 10-year-old from Warrenville was also told his wheelchair wasn't allowed in the fountain. At the time, a city spokesperson said it was an isolated incident.

"There is some type of communications breakdown at that point," Outlaw said. "And I feel like, if it was an issue or mistake before, it should been taken care of before. And now it's happening again."

On Monday, the city repeated Crown Fountain's policy and apologized to Outlaw in a statement, saying in part: "We are deeply concerned about the experience that Ms. Outlaw and her daughter had in Millennium Park and have reached out to the family to apologize. .... We will be following up with our team to make sure that this policy is abundantly clear to all Park staff."

Outlaw confirms someone from the city did reach out to her to apologize.

More than an apology, she said she hopes the staff gets the message this time, so no other child has to feel excluded at Crown Fountain.
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