A safety message sent to members of Canal Winchester schools late Friday night confirmed that a fight broke out at the Canal Winchester-Groveport Madison football game on the away side of the stadium just before 8 p.m.
Officers with Madison Township police removed the individuals from the stadium but noticed suspicious behavior from one person outside the stadium. That person had a concealed weapon, leading to officers searching two other individuals who had concealed weapons. This led to police arresting four people and taking away three guns, according to an update from Madison police Saturday evening.
Three of those arrested are 17-year-olds while the fourth is 18-year-old Sharod Bowers.
One of the 17-year-olds is charged with menacing and disorderly conduct. Bowers and the two other 17-year-olds are all charged with carrying a concealed weapon and conveyance or possession of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone.
The statement from Canal Winchester Schools said the individuals arrested are not students of either school.
“The events at tonight’s game are both scary and frustrating,” superintendent Kiya Hunt wrote in a statement. “Our students deserve to attend games with their friends and make memories without fearing for their safety.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies came to the stadium to ensure the game could safely finish. The game was completed and police made sure all attendees left the stadium immediately.
Madison Township police said the department had eight officers assigned to security detail at the game.
Madison Township was assisted at the scene by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Groveport police, and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office.
This marks the second consecutive year arrests were made during a Canal Winchester-Groveport Madison football game. In 2022 when the game was hosted in Groveport, 18-year-old James Keys from Columbus was arrested after he and a 15-year-old were accused of firing shots outside the stadium during the game.
Officers detained Keys and the teenager after locating one handgun that was altered to make it fully automatic. Police said no one was injured and that six rounds were fired from the gun. A few days later after Keys posted bond, he was arrested a second time after officers recovered four handguns at a property.