Fair: “100% false” social media report
LIMA – Reports on social media about shots fired at the Allen County Fair on Saturday night are completely false, officials said on Sunday.
“There have been reports on social media about shots fired. This is 100% wrong. I checked this with the sheriff’s deputies on Saturday night. I double-checked this at our safety meeting (Sunday) morning. This is completely wrong. That didn’t happen, ”said Brad Core, chairman of the Allen County Fair board of directors.
Core confirmed there was a fight that needed to be cut short by MPs.
Social media was filled with a five-second video of an MP using pepper spray around a group to disperse them, apparently hitting a one-year-old in a stroller.
“There was at least one brawl on the ground that ended with young people in handcuffs. I think three people were detailed, two minors turned over to their parents’ custody and I believe a 19-year-old was taken care of and booked, ”Core said. “It happened at the north end of the field in and around the middle zone. Members were right on that and it has been reduced. They were dealing with certain people regardless of good manners. “
Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia doesn’t think the anonymous deputy was irrelevant for using his pepper spray, but is investigating the incident.
“The officer was well within his rights,” Treglia said. “We are still looking at all of the circumstances.”
Treglia confirmed that the deputy sprayed pepper spray on a crowd.
“As the officer escorted the disruptive group off the field, they decided to eventually surround them and that is what we are looking at,” Treglia said.
Treglia said the incident “exploded” on social media on Sunday and he feared people had already made up their minds about the incident and who was wrong.
“Well, it’s social media. So I think everyone is well aware that there is a lot more to it than what you see at first glance. There’s a lot more to look at and that’s what we’re going to do on Monday, ”Treglia said.
The sheriff’s office provided further details later Sunday in a press release.
In that press release, he said that “several large groups of teens and young adults, aged around 14 to 20, caused problems at the fair. Throughout the night, MPs received complaints that individuals in these groups were cutting lines, making explicit sexually explicit comments towards / about women who attended fairs, making fun of festival-goers and other inappropriate behavior. . The MPs gave warnings and orders to no avail, then when the MPs approached the group (s) they immediately ran into the crowds shoving the festival-goers on their way including the elderly, children and strollers, ”the press release reads.
Park rangers arrested one of the groups and were “cut in the shoulder” and “hit in the chest” by several people in the group. Rangers called for reinforcements and several brawls broke out and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office called for help from their street unit outside the fairground.
The press release stated that one person had been taken into police custody and that “a crowd of around 30 people followed the deputies who were trying to free the suspect. The crowd harassed and taunted as they followed the MPs, forcing a MP to spray CO (pepper spray) into that crowd. The crowd then immediately dispersed, ”the statement said.
Contact Sam Shriver, reporter, at 567-242-0409.