Park warden arrested after tackling yob urinating in paddling pool
Ordeal: Kingsley Vethakan was arrested after he confronted yobs
But when park warden Kingsley Vethakan spotted a teenage boy urinating into a children's paddling pool egged on by a group of troublemakers, he knew he had to intervene.
Bravely he confronted the yobs, ordered them to leave and even confiscated the ringleader's bike so his parents would be forced to collect it and he could spell out exactly what their son was getting up to.
But late that night six police officers in three patrol cars arrived at the home Mr Vethakan shares with his wife and newborn baby - and arrested him.
He was taken away and spent the night in a cell on suspicion of robbery because the lout had reported the incident.
The arrest outraged families who use the park. They have deluged police with letters of support for Mr Vethakan, who has been left "devastated" by his ordeal.
He said: "The whole thing seems to have got out of proportion.
"I just expected the boy to come back with his parents and collect the bicycle so we could stop this sort of anti-social behaviour happening in future."
Although the park is quiet during the day, residents have complained to police about underage drinking, drug-taking and violence at night.
Mr Vethakan, in his early 40s, came to the UK from his native Sri Lanka ten years ago and was appointed to the park warden job at Wooden Hill in Bracknell, Berkshire, after impressing council bosses in other posts.
Chris Turrell, leader of Bracknell Town Council, accused police of failing to patrol the park.
He said: "What the boys did was completely unreasonable, and it is something the police have to follow up.
"People in the area have quite rightly come to the support of our warden. He took a personal risk.
"The police have to show better support for our people and a better physical presence.
Park: The warden had spotted the teenager urinating in the children's paddling pool
"I have raised this with them before but they seem to see it as Dixon Of Dock Green policing. We don't see the police around as much as they should be."
Grandfather Michael Bedford, whose family uses the park, said the warden "should be commended rather than arrested".
He added: "I can understand what a difficult job the warden has with the number of yobs who frequent the area, especially after dark.
"I would have expected the police to be supportive rather than put him in a position where he has become a subject of ridicule by the local youths."
Andrew MacKay, MP for Bracknell, was appalled at the treatment of Mr Vethakan, who was freed without charge. He said: "I think it is very important that lessons are learned from this sad affair.
"From the information I have and the views of local residents on the spot, it does seem unreasonable that the park warden was treated in this way.
"I can think of plenty of criminals who should spend the night in the cells rather than a man who appears to have been doing the right thing for the local community."
Thames Valley police have launched an internal inquiry into the handling of the incident last month. A spokeswoman added that officers had spoken to two boys involved.
Chief Inspector Simon Bowden said: "There is an ongoing criminal investigation which precludes me from discussing the case."