Deputies Making Sure Carnies Play Fair At Tulsa State Fair
TULSA, Oklahoma - The law is making sure carnies play fair at the Tulsa State Fair this year.
Deputies are cracking down on crime after a carnival worker was hauled away in handcuffs during last year's fair.
Some of the deputies are in uniforms and other are dressed regular people. The Sheriff's Office said deputies spoke with the carnies on the midway about the laws in Oklahoma.
The Tulsa State Fair is now open. Rides are firing up and the carnival games on the midway are coming alive.
Some remember carnival fair worker Frank Feikema, who ran one of the balloon popping games. Last year, undercover deputies arrested him for taking $40 from a deputy for a Hello Kitty doll, instead of making him win the game.
"Anytime you deviate from the rules of the game, if it's to the benefit to the game operator or the benefit of the patron, when you deviate it's against the law,” said Major Shannon Clark with Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. “It has to be a fair game of chance, there has to be a set fee, you have to know what the set fee is."
Deputies this year are making sure that doesn't happen again.
“When you're a parent and your kids wanting to win that animal, you know a parent will do just about anything to make sure their kid's happy, especially at the fair, and these guys know how to do that - fast money - and that's what we're watching for," Clark said.
Many parents at the fair said they'd never pay for a prize without their kids actually winning a game.
"No, it takes the fun out of it,” said Tony Stephenson.
Shanan Haddox said, "No, but I don't play the games either.”
Victoria Lively said, "Probably not. They have enough stuff at home, they don't need anything else. We're just here for the rides.”
Clark said if carnies are running game the wrong way, arrests will be made.
"The carnies that are coming into our area, they know if you come into the Tulsa State Fair and you do something wrong, you're gonna face the consequences,” said Clark.
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is also doing undercover alcohol stings, looking for counterfeit items.
Deputies say, just because you see all the uniforms doesn't mean necessarily every cop out there is dressed in a uniform.