Church festival fiasco: Several arrested near yearly family event

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SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio -- A family outdoor event was interrupted by a disturbance over the weekend, and according to police, it involved juveniles.

Several young people were arrested near the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church Festival Saturday evening. The incident happened while the festival was going on, but according to witnesses, arrests were made on nearby streets.

"Any incidents that happened, happened outside of our property," said the Rev. Dave Ireland, who is a pastor at the church.

Ireland tells Fox 8 several suspects ran through the festival on Saturday, scaring people and being disruptive.

In addition, South Euclid police explain they received several reports of that nature as well. An exact number of arrests is unknown because authorities are making sure they have everyone involved in custody.

Several agencies including South Euclid, Beachwood and Lyndhurst responded to the situation.

The festival, which ended Sunday night, has 12 security officers on hand at all times keeping watch.

It has always been a family event, organized with the community in mind.

"They [organizers] want this to be a wonderful event, it's so sad to see folks come through and disrupt it, it's really sad to see that," Ireland said.

Many festival-goers tell Fox 8 they continue feel safe at the family event, and believe Saturday's situation nearby was an isolated incident.

"I love this place I've been coming here my whole life," said Justin Fain.

"This carnival has always been at the heart of one of the things that have made this town great," said Andy Ardo, who said he didn't see any negative activity inside the festival this year. "We don't have problems in this community and the people we saw here is something we never see."

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