Police call for action following Sweet Corn Festival fights

Published: Aug. 18, 2019 at 11:25 PM CDT
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Police in Sun Prairie are calling for action after fights at festivals across Dane County this summer, most recently at the Sweet Corn Festival.

Police said this is a societal issue and stressed the community needs to come together to stop it.

"We need to get social organizations involved. We need to get parents involved, families and schools because a lot of these kids are between the ages of 13 and 16," Lt. Kevin Konopacki, Sun Prairie Police Department said.

Thousands of people from across the Midwest flock to the Sweet Corn Festival every year, just like the Beaver family.

"We rode some rides, and we ate some corn," Danielle Beaver, Madison resident said.

Beaver said while attending festivals all summer with two young daughters, safety is her main priority.

“I would prefer people brought their public manners and civility to public situations. Especially when there's lots of people trying to do the same thing," she said.

But that’s not what happened this weekend.

"Kids were engaging in really unacceptable behavior," Lt. Konopacki said.

Both Friday and Saturday night, officials said there were fights breaking out in the middle of the festival.

Friday night, police said two female juveniles were fighting. As they were fighting, a total of 40 kids were screaming profanities and shouting, but officers were able to remove them from Angell Park.

Then Saturday night, police said an 18-year-old male and a juvenile male started to fight. A juvenile female also got involved. Once they were removed from the park, police said they were disruptive at a nearby McDonalds. Police then made several arrests while attempting to remove the group of 50 kids from the parking lot.

By the end of the night, police said three juveniles were arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and one female juvenile was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest.

Officers said they heightened security adding four additional officers, totaling nine officers at the park.

“We want people to come out and enjoy the corn and enjoy the ride. It's a family event you look around and see a lot of families and kids. We need to make it safe and secure," Lt. Konopacki said.

Police said they can't do it alone. Officers said it's important the community addresses the issue before it gets any more out of hand.

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