ELYRIA, Ohio -- The waterfall at Cascade Park in Elyria is scenic, but it has also proven to be quite dangerous, and the waters of the Black River have claimed a number of drowning victims over the years.
The river’s notorious reputation did not stop a group of young daredevils from Sheffield Lake from jumping off the falls on Friday to cool off.
"Basically, it's like enter at your own risk," said Kyle Riser. “I took the risk of jumping in."
But the city of Elyria does not allow park visitors to swim in the river for their own protection, and police monitor the area with surveillance cameras.
Riser and a friend were cited on Friday for swimming in the river. They also received a lecture from officers, who have witnessed tragedies at the falls, including the 2009 drowning of 13-year-old Logan Spradlin.
"That there's pointed rocks in the water, and we could jump on it and get hurt at any time," said Riser, describing the lecture from officers.
There is a warning sign on the trail leading to the river, but the jumpers and their friends maintain the sign was obscured by foliage.
"I thought that was pretty unfair. They could have at least given them a warning; there's not very many notifications saying that you can't swim here," said Lorain County resident Steven Gordon. “I had no idea that we couldn't swim here until after the fact."
Park visitor Dave Gourley said the daredevils should step back from the edge, and consider what might go wrong.
“Think twice before you do it because your life can change in a second if you do something foolish that you don't know what the consequences are," said Gourley.
The citation for illegal swimming carries a fine of $230.