NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nearly two dozen police officers were called out to Wave Country on Monday afternoon after large crowds of people became unruly. The disturbance forced park managers to close the facility two hours early on Memorial Day.
Metro Parks director Tommy Lynch said Wave Country was nowhere near capacity, but there were plenty of problems that caused the park to close early.
"Once we got to the point that the turmoil at the front of the facility also got inside the facility, we felt for everyone's safety the best thing to do was to close it," Lynch explained.
Metro Police were called out to Wave Country around 1 p.m. because the crowd outside the gates and inside the park was acting up.
"That crowd refused to follow any kind of instructions. They became disorderly," according to Cpt. Marlene Pardue from Metro Police.
There were several fights inside. Police said one of the biggest problems was people jumping the fence to get into the park, creating chaos inside the park.
"Not just kids jumping the fence, but adults, with children and strollers, putting them over the fence, then jumping the fence," Cpt. Pardue said.
Visitors inside the park said the chaos made them feel unsafe.
"Hundreds of people were just jumping over the fence. Almost trampled my kids. I just didn't feel safe," Heather Nowack explained.
Park managers said this is the first time in 30 years they have had to close Wave Country because the crowd became uncontrollable.
"The heat, the crowd, the behavior. Everything just coming together at the wrong time and you just ended up with a mess here," said Cpt. Pardue.
Visitors who paid to go to Wave Country and want to be compensated for the early closing can contact Metro Parks to see if it will be possible to get passes for another trip to the park.
Wave Country will re-open on it's regular schedule on June 3.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:33 PM EDT2013-06-19 00:33:57 GMT
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