Kings Island, just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, is known for its thrilling rides and world-class roller coasters like the Orion and Diamondback, but unfortunately as the park has re-opened for business this summer, there’ve been a growing number of violent incidents in and around the amusement park. According to one local paper, a large fight earlier this month resulted in the park shutting down early, and there’s been an increased police presence at King’s Island over the past few weekends in an attempt to prevent any further violence from taking place.
Well, there was another altercation this past weekend just outside the park’s entrance. This time, four teens were taken into custody after apparently accosting a father who had just arrived to pick up his son.
Kings Island released the following statement regarding the fight on Saturday:
“Police reports indicate – and park video footage confirms – that juveniles were verbally harassing a boy and his father. On-site law enforcement support was requested by a Kings Island Security associate that observed the father was in possession of a firearm. Per the City of Mason Police Department’s investigation, it was determined that the father, who was picking up his son, had a valid concealed carry permit and never brandished the firearm. There appeared to be no physical altercation between the adult and juveniles based on park security video. Additional officers arrived on the scene and four juveniles were arrested for their unruly behavior and transported to the Warren County Juvenile Detention Center. According to City of Mason Police Department, no charges were filed against the adult.
The armed citizen apparently lifted his shirt to show the teens that he was legally armed, but never drew his gun and isn’t facing any charges. The four teenagers, on the other hand, were all arrested on charges of obstruction and disorderly conduct stemming from the incident.
According to a security guard who witnessed the initial confrontation between the teens and the man and his son, the concealed carry holder never threatened the juveniles or grabbed his gun. He did apparently briefly expose his holstered firearm in an attempt to get the teens to back off, and it sounds like the presence of the firearm was enough to convince the juveniles to do so.
I’m glad that this incident ended without any violence, and while I suspect that the misdemeanor charges that the teens are facing are going to be resolved with few actual consequences for those involved in the altercation, hopefully they’ve learned a valuable lesson about accosting strangers. This should be a lesson as well for those who believe that the millions of Americans legally carrying a firearm for self-defense are all a bunch of trigger happy “gun nuts”. Like the vast majority of defensive gun uses, the presence of that lawfully-carried firearm was enough to prevent the incident from escalating further. At the end of the day, this dad just wanted to safely return home with his son, and thankfully that’s exactly what happened here.