Grand Haven State Park shut down after fights

grand haven state park
Michigan State Police on the beach at Grand Haven State Park after reports of a large number of people fighting. The park was shut down. (July 3, 2017)


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies cleared Grand Haven State Park Monday night after between 200 and 300 people on the beach became unruly and some started fighting.

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Lt. Clinton Holt told 24 Hour News 8 that reports of fights, disorderly conduct, loud music and alcohol — which is not allowed at the park — started coming in around 8:15 p.m.

Grand Haven State Park
Authorities shut down Grand Haven State Park after fights broke out on July 3, 2017. (Becky Vargas/Grand Haven Tribune.)

State park personnel who are in charge of the beach called in Grand Haven police — who do not normally patrol the beach — when things started to get out of control. Teams from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, the Norton Shores Police Department, and Michigan State Police also responded — more than 30 officers in all.

The park was cleared within about half an hour. There were no reports of injuries.

grand haven state park
Michigan State Police on the beach at Grand Haven State Park. (July 3, 2017)

Lt. Holt said Grand Haven DPS called in all its sworn officers to “prevent another South Haven,” referencing a violent scene there last year that forced police to shut down the North Beach.

After the violence on the North Beach last year, South Haven authorities this year cracked down on alcohol. The security measures seemed to be successful — 24 Hour News 8 did not hear any reports of serious incidents Monday.

After the park was emptied, trash remained strewn around the beach. Earlier in the day, Grand Haven State Park was cleaned up by a group from the “All Hands On Deck” push to protect the Great Lakes.

The park reopened Tuesday with extra security measures and alcohol checks in place to handle the Fourth of July crowds expected to pack the area.

–24 Hour News 8’s Sarah Hurwitz contributed to this report.