MASON, Ohio (WCMH) — Kings Island was forced to close early Saturday night after reports of unruly crowds and altercations.
Reports and 911 calls of unruly crowds at the amusement park near Cincinnati had the Mason Police Department calling the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post for backup, according to a public information officer of OSHP.
“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,” the park said in a written statement.
Among the actions Kings Island announced it is and has taken are:
“We have shared video footage and guest information with the Mason Police Department for
their investigation. We have been in regular contact to discuss the ongoing investigation and
next steps,” from a statement in an email.
• There will be increased security and police at the park beginning this weekend.
• We will continue to utilize our Protect Our Park program, which enables guests to report any
safety or security concerns through their mobile devices.
• We are implementing additional security protocols and operational policies as appropriate.
The video was recorded by Shan Powell who was at the park. The video shows one scene from the day. There was a lot of commotion. While the video is not clear if there was a fight, police and or security can be seen trying to back people in the direction of Powell.
David Long, from CincyPhotography.com, told of chaos at the park.
“I was at the park all day,” he wrote in an email. “Fights broke out all day… a girl was slammed on the ground and lots of ambulances all day long.”
Both Long and Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson suggested there were a lot of kids bussed into the park. The was called at 10:33 p.m. and was told of multiple fights in the parking lot of Kings Island.
Officer: I was shoved to the ground from behind
Mason Police Officer Peter Morris noted in the narrative of police report (Case Number: CP2105014661) that he tried to separate a man and a woman who were fighting:
On May 22, 2021 at hours, I responded to a report of a possible disturbance at Kings Island… In the middle of the crowd, I witnessed a fight between a black male and a black female subject. I observed the male subject strike the female subject numerous times in the face with a closed fist. The male subject then grabbed the female subject by the throat. I advised dispatch of the incident and requested units respond to my location. I attempted to get in-between the two subjects when I was shoved to the ground from behind.
Unknown number of subjects started striking and pulling on my equipment. One subject attempted to remove my radio from my shoulder but was unsuccessful. During the incident, an unknown subject deployed pepper spray, not from my duty belt, over my head. While covering my face with one arm, I used my forearm to remove subjects from off my back and attempted to render aid to the female subject. The female subject refused assistance, advised me to “[expletive] off”, and then fled the scene. Ptl. Frasher arrived on scene and assisted with clearing the remaining crowd.
After the crowd dispersed, I walked back towards the main gate where I realized my flashlight had been taken. I used water to flush my face and eyes of the pepper spray. Lt. Burson arrived on scene and I advised him of the incident. Besides the pepper spray contamination and minor cuts on my hands, no further injuries were visible. The male subject and female subject involved in the incident fled and were not identified.Case Number: CP2105014661
At a different location, Officer Patrick Witte noted that a park visitor was punched in the face because he spoke up to a group of juveniles who were cutting in line. The victim ended up with a broken tooth. This is from Case Number: CP2105014686 Note where there are brackets, the original report identified the victim as a minor. NBC4 redacted his name.
On scene, I met the victim… [who] advised that he was in line for the Flight of Fear going down the ramp when the assault occurred. [The victim] believes this would have occurred around 2042 hours. [The victim] advised that a large group of disorderly juveniles had been jumping the line for the past hour, upsetting all the other patrons in line. At one point, several of the patrons expressed their frustration with the line jumpers. [The victim] advised he also told the group to stop jumping the line. [The victim] stated that a black male then exited the line and approached [The victim]. The suspect then punched [The victim] in the left side of his head just above his eye. I observed cuts and bruising in the area he was struck. [The victim] also had a chip in his right upper front tooth from the assault, but was unsure the manner in which he was assaulted in the mouth.
The suspect was described as a male black, 5’5 tall, 100 pounds wearing all black clothing and approximately 15-16 years of age.
[The victim] completed a statement form, which will be added to the report. I took pictures of the above-mentioned injuries, which will also be added to the report. I spoke with Kings Island security for video, but they advised there are no cameras in that area of the ride.Case Number: CP2105014686
Jennifer Heft, the Assistant City Manager for Mason, Ohio said the police department was called for unruly teenagers. Ms. Heft released this statement late Tuesday evening via email:
The incident that occurred at Kings Island on Saturday, May 22, 2021 remains an open investigation at this time as Mason Police work to locate and hold those responsible accountable.
The Mason Police Department working with Kings Island Security were able to identify suspects in the incidents that occurred at Kings Island on Saturday May 22, 2021. Suspect information will be presented to Warren County Juvenile Court for charges. Further investigations are being conducted to identify other responsible parties. Aggressive utilization of camera footage continues to be a valuable resource to identifying suspects.
The Mason Police Department with the assistance of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office remain committed to safety and protection of everyone. Appropriate law enforcement presence will continue at the park. Additional protocols and plans have been established to enhance security and expedite the detention of violators. Violators will be trespassed from Kings Island property and if actions are determined to be criminal, taken to the Warren County Jail or Warren County Juvenile Detention Center.
We are grateful that the measured response that evening by law enforcement and Kings Island Security which resulted in minimizing disruption, avoiding escalation and no serious injuries.Jennifer Heft, Mason Assistant City Manager