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Three juveniles charged following fight that briefly delays fireworks at Fairgrounds Park

July 05, 2013

Three juvenile females between the ages of 12 and 14 have been charged following a fight Thursday night at Fairgrounds Park that delayed Hagerstown’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show, Hagerstown Police Lt. Paul Kifer said Friday.

“It was simply a fight amongst some juveniles,” Kifer said, dispelling any rumors that there had been a stabbing or shooting that took place in the incident just before 9:50 p.m. “It was blown out of proportion.”

Kifer said several girls initially got into a confrontation, which drew a large group of underage observers near the park’s concession stand, including some boys who later got involved in the scuffle, he said.

Officers in the area of the fight were able to partially diffuse the situation, but then the group of juveniles moved to other locations in the park before police asked them to leave the premises, Kifer said.

“The officers escorted the group off the Fairgrounds and later charged three juveniles when they returned to the park after being ordered to leave the property,” city spokeswoman Erin Wolfe said Friday afternoon in a news release.

Kifer said the three girls were taken into custody Thursday night, but later released to family members. Their charges are pending before juvenile court, he said.

The fireworks display was halted for about 10 minutes and guests in the area of the fight were asked to move while police officers sorted out the incident, Wolfe said.

No injuries were reported to police, she said.

Droves of people carrying blankets and lawn chairs began heading for the parking lots when the delay started, many upset over the seemingly abrupt and lackluster finale of the show.

When the fireworks started again close to 10 p.m., most people making their way to the park exits stopped and turned around to watch the remainder of the show before leaving.

The event drew between 15,000 to 20,000 people to Fairgrounds Park, according to city officials.

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— C.J. Lovelace

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