(Video: ABC 7)
Unruly crowds led to panic at a California amusement park Saturday that was forced to close early due to multiple fights and reports of shots fired.
Park-goers at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Ca. were seen fleeing the premises Saturday night as violence sparked chaos and confusion. Multiple 911 calls summoned law enforcement to the scene where terrified attendees screamed with fear that an active shooter was on the loose.
The reality proved to be that numerous conflicts occurred leading to physical altercations among guests and with park security that led to the injury of at least three people, of whom two were transported to a local hospital in unknown condition according to the Orange County Fire Authority. It was later detailed that no arrests were made but, to ensure the safety of the public, the scheduled close of 11 p.m. for Knott’s Summer Nights was moved up three hours early.
Online videos of multiple fights showed acts of brutality with no known motivations released to the public. Footage shows various individuals continuing to be beaten after they have fallen to the ground.
So many fights today at Knott’s Berry Farm here’s one of this guy fight security #KnottsBerryFarm #Buenapark pic.twitter.com/5TredbZng1
— Alexa Valadez (@AlexaValadez15) July 17, 2022
knotts berry farm at this point needs a age requirement.. this is beyond crazy pic.twitter.com/6cuLBITN7s
— Tatiana ✨ (@AquariusTatiana) July 17, 2022
Knott’s Berry Farm, a theme park in California, had to close early on Saturday.. Multiple "protests" broke out..#riot #fights #attacked pic.twitter.com/apz0t5XMqg
— YouDontHaveToWatch (@StarsAndBars123) July 18, 2022
Knott’s Berry Farm shut down early tonight after reports of riots and multiple fights breaking out inside of the amusement park. People at the park were evacuated and told to leave. #buenapark pic.twitter.com/IwsQ83QqM7
— LaPuente626sgv (@LaPuente626sgv) July 17, 2022
Tina Rodriguez, a mother on scene, told ABC “I saw a whole bunch of people running out and that’s what triggered me and I was like, ‘What’s happening?’ I asked more people and they were like, ‘Oh, there was a possible shooting.’ But I wonder how that could’ve happened with all the metal detectors.”
An unidentified teenager also spoke with the outlet and said, “I just seen like people fighting and hitting security…I seen someone was on the floor bleeding. It was like a riot, like it was bad. Yeah I was scared.”
Employees at a Build-A-Bear Workshop offered shelter to park goers fleeing from the chaos and attempted to alleviate the panic by explaining that there had been no shooting and the park was closing early because of the fighting.
#KnottsBerryFarm We got caught in the stampede out front last night during the fights. Thr staff at Build a Bear let guests hide in their store. They handed out water and snacks. Thanks to them pic.twitter.com/j444SwvTMt
— Melissa McGovern (@MelissaLeiper) July 17, 2022
The Buena Park Police Department posted an update to Facebook confirming those details as they actively worked to secure the park. “We’re currently working an incident at Knotts Berry Farm involving multiple fights in the park. A report of shots fired was reported with numerous 911 callers. Officers were on scene during the calls and determined there was no shooting. Knotts Berry Farm has closed for the night and we ask you avoid the area until further notice.”
Ultimately, the park was able to open as scheduled on Sunday and they issued a statement to the public late Saturday night well after the situation had settled down: “The safety of Knott’s Berry Farm’s guests and associates is always our top priority. On Saturday evening, the decision was made to close the park 3 hours 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 Knott’s Berry Farm.”
— Knott's Berry Farm (@knotts) July 17, 2022
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