Hurt at carnival brawl: ‘Screaming for my life’

Two girls who say they were attacked at a Wyoming carnival speak with 24 Hour News 8's Leon Hendrix. (April 13, 2014)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A brawl at a Wyoming carnival that left two people injured has some questioning whether the city should provide better security for the event.

Three police departments responded Friday night to the carnival on 28th Street in Wyoming near the old Studio 28 site. Videos that were posted online following multiple fights show shoving, kicking and punching. People can be heard shouting and screaming.

“I was yelling, ‘Please stop, please leave me alone.’ If you watch the video, you can hear me screaming for my life,” said one victim, who asked not to be identified.

She’s not visible in the video she says is of her being beaten; she was on the ground as a throng of people kicked her.

“I just got thrown to the ground and just started getting stomped on my head and my chest,” she said.

She said she could hear the voices in the background encouraging the attack to continue.

“You should want to help, not hurt, not encourage,” she said.

The victim’s mother Janice said she was surprised her daughter survived after watching the video.

“They were stomping her like a piece of meat, and you can hear the laughter and the excitement. And she wasn’t the only victim that night,” she said. “I had to ask myself how she lived through it.”

Michigan State Police, Grandville police and Wyoming police were called to try to bring order to the chaos.

“They were having a hard time,” Janice said. “They were struggling to control the crowd.”

The carnival is put on by the City of Wyoming as a fundraiser for the Parks and Recreation Department. The city doesn’t provide security for the event every night, instead relying on the Wyoming Police Department and its patrol officers.

The carnival continues through Saturday, April 18. Police say they will likely add patrols next weekend.

They are also taking a close look at videos posted online, trying to determine who was behind the attacks.

Both the victims and the some at the carnival have concerns that the attack was planned.

“They weren’t looking to go buy cotton candy,” carnival employee Scott Fiorvante said. “This was preplanned. These kids knew they were going to do this a week in advance.”

He said the incident is “not fair to anybody.”

“With them doing what they did, I’m not going to be able to get those customers back and tell each and every one of them how sorry we are,” Fiorvante said. “We’re going to lose money and we’re going to lose customers.”

Police say two people arrested at the carnival were not involved in the fight where the two girls were hurt.

Anyone with information about the fight is asked to contact the Wyoming Police Department at 616.530.7300 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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