CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – With tens of thousands attending the Canfield Fair for six straight nights, problems were not unexpected. Sheriff Jerry Greene says the worst came Sunday night when teenagers started fighting and cursing at deputies who broke it up.
Greene said the teens were saying, “You know I’m gonna get out of jail,” and “You know they’re not keeping us.”
“Just continuous taunting. Officers were spit at,” Greene said.
In all, a dozen people, adults and juveniles, were arrested Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, both on the grounds as well as outside the fair.
Canfield Police took three teenagers into custody Sunday after making what officers called a “proactive” traffic stop on Fairground Boulevard not far from the gates.
“The individual had a plate that we couldn’t see and as well when the car drove by, the officer smelled what he believed was burnt marijuana,” said Lt. Chris Ruiz.
Although the driver of the car handed over a bag of the drug, a search revealed two loaded pistols hidden in the console. Police say the suspects, who were all from Youngstown, told them they were headed for the fair.
“We certainly were able to prevent juveniles with firearms eventing the fairgrounds,” Ruiz said.
Greene stresses there are issues at the fair every year, but most never make the news. He says changes have been happening.
“The trouble point that we’re getting now is just a large amount of juveniles coming very late, standing around, almost waiting for something to happen,” Greene said.
The sheriff credits the fair board with adding extra security, both on the ground and in the air, to respond faster to problems, but admits preventing trouble from happening in the first place is much more difficult.