TCSO Changing Tactics After Brawl At Tulsa State Fair
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is re-evaluating its response plan after a big fight at the Tulsa State Fair this weekend.
Deputies say the layout of this year's fair is what's making things a bit challenging, but now that they know what they are up against, they are changing tactics to keep things like this from happening again.
Since the Tulsa State Fair started, deputies have responded to several fights. One, in particular, caught on cell phone video circulating the web, shows a large group of teenagers fighting.
On booming fair days, attendance can reach into the tens of thousands.
With so many people cramped between the vendors and rides, moving around is hard to do. Deputies say, sometimes people take advantage of that.
Deputy Justin Green said, "Every year, we know kids will be kids, some will come out to have fun, others will come out to cause trouble."
Deputies say whenever a fight breaks out in a large crowd, they don't want to run – one because they don't want to knock over families, and two, they don't want to spark panic.
They said, previously, the fairground's layout made it easier for law enforcement to move around. This year, however, there are several gates closing off access, so deputies often have to take a long way around.
"As we started to approach, they did attempt to scatter. And, at the point, when we got there you couldn't really tell who the suspects were and who the victims were. Therefore, the best thing to do is to eliminate the who element from the fairgrounds, and that's what we did," Green said.
Now that deputies know there's an access problem, they are switching things up.
Green said, "Since then, we've implemented some new procedures and new techniques and new zoning for our deputies to help eliminate that problem."
During peak hours, there is a juvenile court judge on site. Most often, the punishment is a ticket or summons to appear before a judge.