Worker accused of tampering with propane tanks at Cuyahoga County Fair

BEREA, Ohio -- A fair worker was taken into custody after a strange late night incident at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea.

It happened after-hours  on Thursday.

According to fair officials, the man was an employee for one of the ride contractors and apparently had a dispute with a worker from a different vendor.

“It was an internal situation where an employee became a little out of sorts for whatever reason,” said Tim Fowler, president of the Cuyahoga County Fair Board.

It’s unclear if the man was attempting a prank or something else.

Fowler says the man turned on an unsupervised propane tank and then left.

Fortunately, the tank was quickly discovered.

“Our forces went and turned the tank off and apprehended the individual,” said Fowler.

The man, who was reportedly intoxicated, was then taken to nearby Southwest General Medical Center and told not to return to the fairgrounds.

It was a warning he apparently ignored.

Fowler says upon his release, the man “acquired” a hospital wheelchair and wheeled himself back to the fairgrounds.

Security is tight in and around the grounds with officers from the city, county and a private force.

The man was quickly spotted and promptly taken into custody around midnight by Berea police.

“We request zero tolerance from vendors, staff and even our board of directors,” said Fowler.

No one was hurt and the public was never in harm's way, according to Fowler, but the ride company released the operator.

He is not allowed to return to the grounds for any reason.

Berea police haven’t commented on what charges or citations the suspect may face.

Five-hundred people work and volunteer at the week-long event and tens of thousands of guests come to the fair each day.

This is the 121st Cuyahoga County Fair and officials want everyone to know that their safety is “priority number one.”

As a thank you to guests, admission Saturday is only $2 per person from 10 a.m. until noon. That includes a meet-and-greet with Slider.

**More on the fair, here**