Carnival company, church react to Norristown fight

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Norristown Police are still investigating a large fight at a carnival Saturday night and how it was handled by officers.

On Monday we heard from the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church about the future of the event and the carnival company about what they saw and experienced during the fight.

Cell phone video shows part of the brawl as several officers tried to control dozens of teens at the St. Francis Carnival, which police say started around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Action News spoke with Sue Pfeffer, who is one of the owners of Tons of Fun Shows, the company that puts on the carnival every year at St. Francis.

"The cops were trying to tend to one (fight) and then they would tend to one and another one would break out," Pfeffer said.

Pfeffer says she, her husband and her son saw several fights break out among the teens, and were afraid for the lives of the officers.

"They thought it was OK to just start jumping on the cops and hitting the cops," she said.

Parents of the teens involved believe the officers used excessive force. Police are investigating those allegations.

"My husband and son just walked away because they didn't want to get hurt," said Pfeffer.

She says in the midst of the fighting, one of her ride operators was hurt.

"A part of the fence came in and hit the one girl's elbow. And she's one of my local neighbors so I iced it up and sent her home early. I sent all my local high school kids home early because it wasn't safe for them to be there."

On Sunday, Police Chief Mark Talbot held a community forum to address parents' concerns.

Rev. James Goerner, the pastor at St. Francis of Assisi, says the carnival is a major fundraiser for the church, and hopes it can continue.

"It was very upsetting and very disturbing to see something like this happen at a parish event, at a community event," said Goerner. "As far as the event goes, it's going to have to be something we look at in the future going forward, if we're going to continue to have the event."

No decisions have been made about the carnival for next year.

The owners of the Tons of Fun Shows say if the carnival is held next year, they would look into hiring more police officers.

They also encourage parents to come to the fair with their teenagers.

Norristown Police expect to release more information later this week.
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