Some Refuse To Return To Tulsa's Big Splash After Fights

Thursday, August 6th 2009, 4:47 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Big Splash is back in business after a brawl shut it down Wednesday night.

Police say thousands of kids showed up for a promotion, "Waves of Worship," and the crowd quickly became unmanageable.

Police estimate there were 3,500 kids there Wednesday night, but only one security guard on duty. It was a scene that some parents described as chaotic.

On Thursday, things were back to normal at the park, but some parents are still irate.

8/5/2009  Related Story: Big Splash Open After Fights Wednesday Close Park

The promotion Wednesday night attracted plenty of church groups, as well as other kids who showed up to take advantage of the $5 gate fee.

"Too many people, way too many," said Mary Knight, a parent.

Mary Knight attended the event with her child and says once she got inside, it quickly became obvious there were too many people in the park.

"Just elbow to elbow, too busy; not enough security here, not enough people, not enough lifeguards," said Mary Knight.

Unable to control the crowd, Big Splash decided to close the park and call police. When TPD showed up, officers say the situation escalated. A number of fights broke out and kids began jumping on police cars.

"When you have 3,500 kids in a confined area and you have several law enforcement officers, they don't think they have to comply," said Capt. Travis Yates, Tulsa Police Department.

The park was eventually evacuated, but officers say the unruly behavior continued at a nearby Wal-Mart. When all was said and done, one person was injured. No weapons were used and TPD says the vast majority of the crowd just wanted to leave peacefully.

"I saw some kids in here I recognized, good kids, trying to have a good time. Unfortunately, just a few bad apples ruin it for all," said Capt. Travis Yates.

It's an experience that has turned some off to Big Splash. Mary Knight says she will not be returning.

TPD says it has already talked to Big Splash about the need for an emergency plan for situations like Wednesday night's. Big Splash officials say they will be issuing a statement about the incident, but The News On 6 has not received it yet.