Knott’s Berry Farm tightens security after several fights forced the park to close early

Knott’s Berry Farm said it was tightening security in response to fighting that broke out on Saturday night, forcing the park to close three hours early and scaring away customers.

Some of the fights were captured on video and posted to social media as teenagers threw punches in a street outside the park and security guards were caught in the fray. As fighting broke out, panicked visitors ran for safety.

One person said on TikTok that they don’t know why the teenagers are “hitting up random people”.

“I was so scared,” she said, adding that many children were crying.

Two injured people were taken to hospital by paramedics, Orange County Fire Authority Captain Sean Doran said, and a third person was examined by paramedics but refused to come to the hospital. get treated.

Buena Park police said numerous 911 calls reported possible shots fired, but officers at the scene determined no shots were fired.

The park said it has shared video footage and customer information with the Buena Park Police Department, and that visitors will experience enhanced security and police presence at the park.

“The safety of Knott’s Berry Farm guests and associates is always our top priority,” the park said in a statement. “The decision was made to close the park three hours early due to unruly behavior and altercations involving a number of teenagers. This behavior did not align with our park values ​​and was not the experience that we want any guest to have when visiting Knott’s Berry Farm.

The park reopened on Sunday.

Neither Knott’s Berry Farm nor its owner, the Cedar Fair Company, responded to The Times’ email questions about the violence and asked for details on how it was handling safety measures after it reopened.

Anaheim’s Enrique Castro waited in line Sunday morning with his wife, son, grandson and a group of relatives from Coahuila, Mexico. He said he wasn’t concerned about safety, despite what had happened the night before.

“It’s always been a safe place for me and my family,” Castro said. “We have been coming here for years and trust the security. I’ve never really heard of anything like this before.

At the entrance on Sunday, bags, backpacks and personal effects of visitors were searched. Security personnel from Allied Universal Event Services, based in Fullerton, used handheld metal detectors, while other park visitors who did not have bags walked through metal detectors.

Inside the park, employees wearing yellow shirts roamed the park. Security guards in white uniforms stood guard.

Griselda Navarro, a mother of two from Santa Ana, said she saw the news about the fighting but didn’t want to disappoint her children. She said they had agreed on a compromise: to leave the park at 6 p.m.

“I think Knott’s is safe, but you have to be careful,” Navarro said. “You never know what can happen.”

As fighting broke out on Saturday, rumors of a shooting prompted frightened customers to hide, according to social media posts.

“There was a fight as everyone was packed to get out,” a park visitor wrote on Facebook. “Suddenly everyone screamed and then ran. We were let out by the staff area.

A cell phone video showed a young man banging another teen as he lay on the ground with his arms raised to protect his head. Another one mobile phone video showed a security guard lying on the ground.

A woman told KABC-TV Channel 7 that she saw people ‘hitting security’ and a person ‘on the floor bleeding’.

“It was like a riot,” she said.

Times public engagement editor Marisa Martinez contributed to this story.

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