Kings Island will see increased law enforcement presence this weekend

As the investigation into fights that caused Kings Island to shut its doors 30 minutes early on Saturday continues, Mason police said there will be an increased law enforcement presence at the park when it reopens this weekend.

Mason police and Kings Island security said Tuesday they have identified several suspects involved in fights Saturday at the park.

Suspect information will be presented to Warren County Juvenile Court for charges. Further investigations are being conducted to identify others responsible, according to the city of Mason.

Assistant City Manager Jennifer Heft said five people have been identified as of late Tuesday afternoon, and that there may be more because the investigation is ongoing.

Kings Island said it closed 30 minutes early Saturday evening due to “unruly behavior and altercations” involving teenagers. As of Wednesday, no arrests have been made.

Mason police said officers responded to more than a dozen reports of unruly guests in the park and parking lot between 4:30 to 11 p.m.

Among the reports made were:

  • A teen reported being assaulted near the Flight of Fear ride about 8:42 p.m. where a large group of juveniles allegedly was jumping the line for the ride. The teen and others in line were expressing their frustrations to the juveniles. One male got of the line and punched him in the left side of the head just above his eye and had cuts and bruises from the assault. The teen also said one of his front teeth were chipped.
  • About 10 p.m. there were fights reported in the parking lot and near the preferred parking lot, both involving large groups of people.
  • A teen from Fairfield told police he saw another youth from his Fairfield neighborhood and alleged the other youth had spat in his face twice and smacked his glasses off his face.
  • Police were contacted about a person with a gun in the area of the drop-off area. However that was an unfounded report.
  • About 8:25 p.m. Mason police officer was injured assisting Kings Island police and security giving verbal commands for the crowd at the Coney Barbeque to disperse. The Mason officer saw a man and woman fighting in the middle of the crowd. The male allegedly grabbed the female by the throat and struck her numerous times with a closed fist. The officer attempted to get in the middle of the couple but was shoved to the ground. He said an unknown number of people began to hit him and tried to take his radio off his shoulder. During the altercation, someone in the crowd used pepper spray they brought into the park on the officer. As he tried to render aid to the female who was assaulted, she cursed at the officer. He said the man and woman fled the scene and were not identified. As the officer headed to the front gate, he realized he lost his flashlight in the altercation.

Heft said there will be an increased law enforcement presence at the park when it reopens this weekend. Additional protocols and plans have been established to enhance security and expedite the detention of violators, she said.

Violators will be trespassed from Kings Island and if actions are determined to be criminal, taken to the Warren County Jail or Warren County Juvenile Detention Center.

City officials said they are grateful for the measured response that evening by police and Kings Island Security, which minimized the disruption, avoided an escalation and led to no serious injuries.

Kings Island issued an updated statement Tuesday afternoon: “The safety of our guests and associates has always been our top priority at Kings Island. To be clear, unruly behavior and altercations such as those that took place last Saturday have no place at our park. We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and we believe those responsible should be held accountable.”

Park officials said they are they are taking immediate steps to address the situation so that guests can enjoy their future visits. Among the actions being taken are:

· Sharing video footage and guest information with Mason police for their investigation. The park and police have been in regular contact to discuss the ongoing investigation and next steps.

· There will be increased security and police at the park beginning this weekend.

· Continuing the Protect Our Park program, which enables guests to report any safety or security concern through their mobile device.

· Implementing additional security protocols and operational policies as appropriate.

“We believe these actions will help ensure that Kings Island remains what it has been for nearly 50 years – a place where generations of families and friends can gather for a day of safe fun and good food. More than 3 million guests a year have counted on us for exactly that since we opened in 1972, and we will continue to deliver on that promise for generations to come,” park officials said.

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