3 arrests made inside fairgrounds after ‘altercations’ at Jacksonville Fair on Saturday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax is investigating safety concerns at the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair after we were the first to tell you Saturday night that several altercations broke out and there were three arrests.

Officials said the three arrests were made inside the gates of the fairgrounds but coming into its final night on Sunday, it didn’t steer people away.

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“I just brought my kids out because you know, I do every year,” Kevin Jones said.

“We didn’t have any concerns,” Drew Westhoff said. “Everything was good tonight.”

A spokesperson for the fair told Action News Jax the fair was at near-capacity attendance at the time of the isolated altercations Saturday evening, adding that arrests were also made outside the gates. The spokesperson was unsure of how many altercations there were, but said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office handled all issues quickly.

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Fairgoers said they saw multiple fights take place on Saturday.

“There were about three fights, three or four of them and there was a lot of people running and stuff,” Ayven Leet said.

Attendees on Sunday, like Rezell Carbert, said she was happy that she didn’t hear about the problems last night before coming.

“Had I known about a fight I would not be here this evening, however there weren’t any fights this evening, which I was very, very happy about.”

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This isn’t the first time there has been trouble around the fair. Action News Jax first told you in 2017 when police said a teen was shot in the back leaving the fair. The next week, police said two children were shot while walking on Union Street near the fair.

As for Carbert, she says she’ll be coming back next year, despite what happened Saturday.

“This year we were able to make it and we had a really good time and lots of laughs,” she said.

When asked about additional security, a fair spokesperson told Action News Jax:

“Safety is our number one priority. We have an adequate police presence to ensure the safety of everyone on the fairgrounds, just like we do every day of the fair.”

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