Friday, May 25, 2018
Public safety

Videos capture teen chaos at Florida State Fair

TAMPA — Videos taken by midway vendors at the Florida State Fair capture some of the chaos authorities said they encountered Friday night during student day at the fairgrounds.

The videos were turned over by vendors to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. A day after the Tampa Bay Times asked for their public release, the Sheriff's Office provided two clips Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday night, about 200 deputies struggled to control the ordeal on the midway when hundreds of teens ran out-of-control.

Ninety-nine people were ejected; 12 were arrested.

One of the midway vendors told a reporter Tuesday that Friday's behavior is the worst he's seen during student days in his three years working at the fair.

Three hours after he was one of the teens ejected that night, Andrew Joseph III, 14, was struck and killed while crossing Interstate 4.

His death has brought renewed attention to the chaotic behavior that for years has plagued the annual student day at the fair — leading the Sheriff's Office, Florida State Fair Authority and Hillsborough's school district to start searching for solutions.

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