The new, giant metal slide on City Hall Plaza is a hit with local kids, who climb three levels of obstacles in order to descend down its steep, twisty tube.
But, as shown in a video shared widely online this week, it can be potentially dangerous for adults, who are warned not to use it by signs posted on the playground.
In the latest incident, which was filmed by someone standing at the bottom of what’s been called an “impressive” slide, banging can be heard inside the tube as someone comes down at a high speed. Suddenly, a police officer in a yellow vest emerges from its opening — flat on his face and stomach — before hitting the side and skidding to a stop on the rubber material below, the video clip shows.
A narrow black object and set of handcuffs seem to come free from his uniform and bounce on the ground behind him.
By Tuesday afternoon, the video had been viewed millions of times on TikTok and quickly spread to other social media sites.
A Boston Police spokesperson said the department is aware of the video, and that the officer who went down the slide sustained minor injuries.
“He was hurt and used his own personal medical insurance to be treated,” Sergeant Detective John Boyle said. “He lost no time and has returned to work.”
When asked if the incident is being investigated, Boyle said “I don’t believe so.”
It was not immediately clear who took the original video shared on TikTok, as different versions surfaced online.
One version posted on TikTok around midnight Tuesday, which featured text and a cry-laughing emoji, had been viewed more than 10 million times. The video was later listed as “unavailable.”
Another version, without the text or emoji, also garnered attention on X, formerly known as Twitter, after it was posted Tuesday by Ryan Whitney, an NHL commentator and host of the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast.
In a follow-up tweet, however, Whitney said he deleted the video because he “was begged to take it down.”
From the time it was first unveiled on City Hall Plaza in November, the gargantuan piece of playground equipment has been turning heads. The news site Universal Hub even bestowed it the unique title of possibly being “the longest slide in the city.”
The slide is the centerpiece of the updated playground, part of a $95 million makeover of the public expanse in Government Center. The renovated space has been described by city officials as having a “kinder brutalist” style.
This was not the first time an adult who has opted to ride the slide has been hurt while doing so.
Although there are signs indicating that the slide “is not intended for adult use,” and should only be used by children between five and 12 years old, several other video clips posted online show people being thrown from the large metal tube.
Another woman posted a clip of herself coming out of the bottom of the slide and remarking, “How does a child go down that?”
In November last year, before the park’s grand opening, City Councilor Erin J. Murphy tried the slide out for herself. A video she posted on X showed her coming down the equipment on her stomach, her shoe falling off.
“Come on by to check [the new park] out. Just be careful on the slide,” she wrote, adding a laughing and slide emoji.
In a follow-up tweet, Murphy said she “started down the slide sitting straight up and facing forward” before she was “whipped around in the tunnel” and emerged “upside down.”
Just another day at City Hall. 😂— Erin Murphy (@ErinforBoston) November 15, 2022
No, but seriously, the new City Hall Plaza is amazing. Toured it today before the grand opening this Friday. Come on by to check it out. Just be careful on the slide. 😂 #accessibility #bospoli #cityhallplaza pic.twitter.com/1fCL6Csvhm