'It was chaotic.' Residents say fight broke out at packed Mount Sinai carnival

The "Fling into Spring Carnival" at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai has been going on for several years, but some parents say they do not plan to come back.

News 12 Staff

Apr 15, 2023, 9:27 PM

Updated 364 days ago

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A carnival in Mount Sinai was forced to close early Saturday night after a fight broke out the previous evening.
The "Fling into Spring Carnival" at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai has been going on for several years, but some parents said they do not plan to come back.
Video sent in by a News 12 Long Island viewer shows the carnival packed with attendees. According to parents on social media, that was the biggest issue. They said when the fight broke out, some children were hit into or knocked over. They said the carnival was not a family fun event as it was in previous years.
"It was so crowded. So crowded," said resident Trevor Diaz. "If you went down Jesse Way, there were cars all the way down [Route 83]... There was no shuttle bus... It was chaotic."
Suffolk police responded to a call for a group of teens fighting at the carnival. But when the officers arrived, the groups had already dispersed.
A day later, families saw an increase of patrols and security roaming the park. As a result of the violence the night before, the carnival shut down three hours earlier on Saturday.
Residents who attended Saturday said they were surprised that violence spoiled the event for other families.
"That is shocking that fights break out like this. I don't know what this world is coming to but it's disgraceful, it's disgusting," said resident Andrea Schmitt.
The North Shore Youth Council, the organization that hosts the park space for the carnival, released a statement and apology on Facebook, saying in part, "We are absolutely devastated and frustrated that what was supposed to be a family-friendly community event turned into a chaotic scene that left people injured, distressed, and disappointed."
Mike Newton, the carnival organizer, also sent News 12 Long Island a statement:
"We apologize that the unfortunate fight that broke out between two teens last night – plus the sheer number of attendees – caused a less than stellar experience at the Heritage Festival for some of our guests. We greatly appreciate that the police who were onsite resolved the situation quite quickly. Originally we were all thrilled with the tremendous turnout as it was a beautiful Friday. Today, we’ve added additional security to monitor all, in particular the ride lines. Raising substantial funds for not for profits has been our goal for 73 years."
"We had a rough night, but we have to move forward and be respectful for anybody that has had a bad experience," Newton told News 12 Long Island on Saturday, adding that Newton Shows will work to prevent violence from happening again at the next carnival. "We really can't lower the crowd too much because it's a free admission event. We'll figure out other ways to manage it better in the future."
The carnival will reopen for its last day Sunday at 11 a.m.


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