Crime

Brawl at Worlds of Fun drew about 300 teenagers and multiple police agencies: KCPD

A large brawl involving a total of about 300 teenagers broke out at Worlds of Fun Saturday night, according to police.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were called to help an off-duty Clay County sheriff’s deputy dealing with several large fights among mostly teenagers about 9:30 p.m. at the amusement park near Interstate 435 and Northeast 48th Street in the Northland, according to the Kansas City Police Department.

A witness, 25-year-old Madi-Lynn McDaniel of Kansas City, recorded video of parts of the incident.

“We were walking towards the other side of the park, and all of a sudden we heard screaming coming,” she said Sunday. “And before you could even react there were hundreds of kids like streaming toward us.”

Soon, McDaniel was surrounded by fighting teenagers. Parents pulled small children away from the crowd. Dozens of law enforcement officers arrived.

“They would take one kid and break up a fight and his friends, or her friends, would go after the cops,” McDaniel said. “There were at least 10 to 15 different fights.”

Most of the teenagers seemed to be about 14 to 16 years old, McDaniel said. None appeared to be badly hurt, though many were throwing punches.

McDaniel has had season tickets to Worlds of Fun for three years and goes almost every weekend, she said, and has never seen anything like Saturday’s fighting at the park.

“Maybe a couple of little fights, kids are kids,” she said. “Nothing to this extreme.”

On Sunday, Kansas City police reported no injuries and no arrests.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said a 17-year-old boy was cited for “peace disturbance” and was released at the scene. No other citations were issued, said Deputy Jon Bazzano, a sheriff’s office spokesman.

Later Sunday, the sheriff’s office posted a statement on Twitter. “The group of bad actors at (Worlds of Fun) only represent a fraction of guests that were there to enjoy the attractions,” the statement said in part. “It’s unfortunate that families & children had their evening disrupted by these events. We will continue to work with WOF to ensure the safety of their guests & staff.”

Worlds of Fun also issued a written statement about the incident:

“There was an altercation in the park last night. The altercation was broken up by local and park authorities and the guests were removed from the park,” the statement said. “The safety and security of our guests and employees is at the core of what we do. The authorities responded quickly and handled the situation appropriately.”

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Ian Cummings is the breaking news editor for The Kansas City Star, where he started as a reporter in 2015. He is a Kansas City native who graduated from the University of Kansas in 2012.
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