Carnival Owner Speaks

By: Jessica Aspiras Email
By: Jessica Aspiras Email

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mom Location: Waverly area on Apr 25, 2007 at 03:06 PM
    This happened last year also. It was obviously covered up. The fight last year involved at least 10 teenage boys, before I got my family out of there. Mall security knew about it and so did the Delta sheriff department. The mall should stop hosting this carnival. I really don't want my tax dollars supporting security at this event.
  • by Maria Location: Lansing on Apr 24, 2007 at 03:06 PM
    I find it very disturbing to see one of my cousins getting jumped by a group of teenagers. She lay on the ground because her shirt was torn from behind. You can find the video on youtube.com. The only thing I am grateful for is the quick response from the police. The outcome could of been alot worse. My hats off to them.
  • by Brad Location: Lansing on Apr 24, 2007 at 12:42 PM
    This shouldn't be news. If a fight happens at a high school, the administration/teachers/security insist: "Don't instigate. Don't stand and watch" Yet here we have a fight which just happened to be caught on video and suddenly WILX is there to, yes I dare say it, instigate.
  • by taz Location: marshall mi on Apr 24, 2007 at 07:28 AM
    "Posted by: Erin Location: Laingsburg They should stop the Carnivals because they draw the wrong kind of people and the carnivals are not State Inspected for safety!" ok erin...here is the deal...open mouth and insert foot, ignorance is your own worst enemy! i have been associated with skerbeck carnival for 20 years, on and off the carnival! i know personaly what kind of ship joey and billy skerbeck run, i was on that ship for many years. thay are the only carnival outfit that my family will ever work for. as far as state inspections go, they cant run without those inspections, and they are not easy to pass. we are there to provide a service to the community, and i am sure that you have ridden a ride or popped a balloon at some point in your life.....yes i get disgusted over peoples ignorance about the carnival life....because while they are watching there little ones ride in kiddyland, they are trash talking us to there friends, it is the carnival crew that makes it happen, and they only family they have is those on the show....so do me a favor....swallow your egos and get your facts straight. -Taz "the zipper man"
  • by pam Location: olivet-albion on Apr 23, 2007 at 10:49 AM
    i know so many people out their and they are my friends and family and i have niver seen any thing like that i've know this carnival for 8 years it where i met my husbean at joe is a good guy and all he wants is to let people have fun
  • by Amber Location: Jackson on Apr 23, 2007 at 09:21 AM
    Why should the carnival be shut down because individuals don't know how to properly conduct themselves in public?
  • by John Location: Lansing on Apr 23, 2007 at 07:31 AM
    I just want to ask has any there ever been any incidents such as the one that happened on Saturday as bad as this one which caused the carnival to be shut down? I know from history when the carnival was held at the Holmes Logan Square parking lot that the carnival had to be shut down on many occasions and I suspect that is why the carnival is no longer held there
  • by Erin Location: Laingsburg on Apr 23, 2007 at 04:47 AM
    They should stop the Carnivals because they draw the wrong kind of people and the carnivals are not State Inspected for safety!
  • by Robert Location: okemos on Apr 22, 2007 at 04:07 PM
    Complete footage of the Lansing Mall carnival fight and police video can be found on the homepage of http://www.spartyspace.com
  • by Angie Location: Lansng on Apr 22, 2007 at 04:01 PM
    I live behind the Lansing Mall and all I have heard since Friday is sirens and police going to the carnival. At least 4 diffrent times before the "big fight" broke out. I dont think the Lansing Mall is a good place for a Carnival. Its definitly a disturbance for myself and others alike.
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