An amusement park in Mason, Ohio, recently closed early because police were called to break up large groups of teens who were fighting.
Just how bad was it? One witness told WLWT 5 (Cincinnati) that he saw park security, Mason police, County Sheriff’s deputies, and Ohio state troopers on the scene to break up the fighting.
A witness named Shan Powell told reporters, “It became a mob.” What’s more, “a police officer was assaulted while trying to help someone else who was assaulted,” WLWT 5 reports. Mason police said the officer was attacked with a “chemical spray.”
From Bad To Worse
Kings Island amusement park is located in Mason, Ohio — a little more than 20 miles outside Cincinnati. It opened for the season on May 15.
Last Saturday, guests reported 30- to 45-minute lines at food stands and restaurants, a Cincinnati Enquirer article reports.
“It was insanely crowded,” Ryan Smith says in the article. “Not surprising, I guess, as it was a Saturday and the weather was nice.”
In the WLWT 5 article, Powell says groups were “terrorizing that park.”
“The whole day, there had been quite a bit of people living without consequences, line-jumping, stealing Coke products, and it was just a really weird feeling throughout the whole day,” Powell said.
Fighting Broke Out
Eventually, due to several fights inside the park, Kings Island closed. Fights then broke out in the parking lot and police were called.
Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported there were several fights in the afternoon, and a large fight just before 10 p.m., the Cincinnati Enquirer article reports. “A sergeant from the highway patrol said the Mason Police Department asked for backup to respond to several large fights at Kings Island and troopers responded,” the article continues.
Even then, there were problems dispersing the crowd.
“There was a lot of yelling,” Powell says in the WLWT 5 article. “Ice and sodas were thrown at the officers, and at each other. It was just pretty much chaos.”
The Park’s Response
When Kings Island closed, it quickly released a statement.
“The safety of our guests and associates is always our top priority,” explained the statement. “On Saturday, the decision was made to close the park 30 minutes early due to unruly behavior and altercations involving a number of teenagers. This behavior did not align with our park’s values, and was not the experience we want any guest to have while visiting Kings Island.”
WLWT later asked a park spokesperson what will happen if passholders have concerns about dropping their memberships, should the fighting continue.
“Yesterday’s event was not a normal occurrence at Kings Island. Unruly behavior has no place at our park,” the spokesperson told WLWT in a statement. “We are taking immediate steps to address the situation so that our guests enjoy their future visits.”
Know Before You Go
Kings Island has more than 80 different rides and attractions — including 36 water slides and two wave pools. Its Diamondback roller coaster is 230 feet tall, with a 215-foot drop. Hours of operation and ticket information may be found here.
For more Ohio inspiration, consider