Carnival Owner Speaks

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The area behind the Lansing Mall is a completely different scene Sunday when compared to just hours before.

"I looked out and saw a bunch of kids jumping on cars over by Old Navy and the Pinney's parking lot. And some lady came up and said they're beating somebody up."

Joe Skerbeck is the owner of the carnival located at the rear of the mall. He says in the five years its been held there, there's never been a situation like the one that happened Saturday night.

"Sometimes you see kids together and shove each other and push each other and maybe something domestic. But that's normal anytime you get a crowd of 3,000-4,000 people out here."

According to the Eaton County Sheriff's Department, a large fight broke out a little before eight that evening. It forced the carnival to shut down early. One person was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge and three were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

"I'm inclined to say that wasn't even connected with us. Although some of the people that were out here may have walked over there to get involved. But it wasn't, it had no connection with our operation at all," says Skerbeck.

Deputies were also dispatched to the carnival Friday for what they're calling "a large gathering." And Skerbeck says both incidents have been terrible for business.

"It's scares the families away. We try to provide family friendly entertainment and we have a bunch of thugs come in and disrupt that. It's scary. It's dangerous."

It's something he hopes doesn't happen again.

"It's way more excitement than I want to see."

Lansing Mall management was contacted but refused to comment on the matter.

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