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Kennywood Park opening day ends early because of disruptive crowd

| Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10:00 p.m.

Kennywood Park had a great opening day Saturday, until the sun went down.

West Mifflin Police Department and other area law enforcement were called to the amusement park about 9 p.m. for reports of a riot, according to Allegheny County officials.

West Mifflin police later said there was a large crowd with people pushing one another. Police dispersed the crowd.

The term “riot” was “a great exaggeration,” said Kennywood Park spokesman Nick Paradise.

“Around dusk, we saw several large groups of teenagers running through the park, scuffling, pushing and shoving,” he said.

Alex Randolph, 20, of Garfield said he saw the fighting start inside the park, as he was getting off a ride.

“There were little kids and a lot of people around,” he said.

Paradise said the park asked police for help and they “got people out of the park in an orderly fashion.”

Some witnesses said the chaos continued outside the park.

The scene had died down by 10:30, with about a dozen police cars from nearby municipalities and several dozen people near the McDonald's restaurant next to the park.

Paradise said park security officers reported four teenage girls with minor injuries, ranging from minor abrasions of the nose and lips to ear pain and an ankle abrasion.

There was no damage to the park, he said.

The park was scheduled to be closed Sunday; operations will resume Saturday.

Justice Nixon, 20, of Homestead said she saw a girl in handcuffs as she exited the park.

“It's like people come to Kennywood to have fun, not fight,” she said. “There's no reason to act like that.”

Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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