SUFFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) — A disturbance at Wingfoot Lake State Park remains under investigation following reports of possible gunshots and a crowd size of more than 2,000 people Saturday.
However, the initial call to 911 does not match the evidence so far according to the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.
The caller reported a rumor of shots fired while attending a graduation party at the park.
“There is a big Juneteenth celebration here and a lot of people came running towards our pavilion,” the caller said. “I think there was a gun or rumor of a gunshots.”
More than half a dozen law enforcement agencies responded to the scene in Suffield Township. The Portage County Sheriff’s investigation has not revealed evidence of the rumor the 911 caller mentioned.
The Portage County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ralph Spidalieri said they do not have dash camera or body camera video.
“No arrests, we were not able to locate any firearms and we were not able to confirm anything of anybody being shot or shots fired,” Spidalieri said.
Investigators said three different events were underway in the same area of the park Saturday including a wedding party, graduation, and Juneteenth celebration with a sorority or fraternity.
Spidalieri said he inquired about what organization was on the permit but did not receive that information from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at this time. He said according to ODNR all three parties had permits to gather and there is no specific capacity limit listed on the permit.
As the celebratory crowd size grew it overflowed into the other parties causing tension. Eventually the crowd at the park became so large it hindered response times at the scene.
“It’s something of concern and they probably need to make some changes where they can know what the capacity of the park, to have some kind of a regulation,” he said.
No damage was reported but Spidalieri said the park was littered.
“I guess the park was left in shambles as far as litter garbage, beer bottles, wine bottles. It was all over the park,” he said. “Speaking with our deputies this morning you could smell marijuana throughout the entire park.”
A portion of body camera video provided by the Mogadore Police Department shows an officer walking around the park talking to a few people there.
Spidalieri said no arrests were made in the investigation and no injuries reported.