Knott's Berry Farm requiring chaperones after fighting teens closed park early
A Southern California amusement park is now requiring all visitors under the age of 18 be accompanied by an adult on Fridays and Saturdays after crowds of rowdy teenagers forced the park to close early last Saturday
July 23, 2022 6:31am
Updated: July 23, 2022 12:14pm
A Southern California amusement park is now requiring all visitors under the age of 18 be accompanied by an adult on Fridays and Saturdays after crowds of rowdy teenagers forced the park to close early last Saturday.
Knotts Berry Farm updated its code of conduct with a new chaperone policy earlier this week, reports the Los Angeles Times. Each chaperone must present a photo ID that shows they are over the age of 21 and can accompany up to three guests.
“Chaperones must accompany their party during entry, remain with their party at all times during their visit to the park, and be available by phone throughout their stay,” the policy states, reports the Times.
The mayhem that triggered the rule change began early evening on July 16. Authorities received multiple calls about teenagers fighting and attacking random guests in and around iconic Los Angeles venue. Some even mentioned gunfire.
Posts on social media captured the chaos, showing crowds fleeing multiple fights among young visitors.
@KTLA @FOXLA @ABC7 @NBCLA @CBSLA chaos at knotts 🥴 pic.twitter.com/0mZrLzJvRa— Marilyn (@Marilyyyyynxo) July 17, 2022
Buena Park police they did not find any evidence a gun had been discharged, only brawling teenagers.
Three people were injured, according to the Orange County fire department.
The park announced on Twitter that “unruly behavior and altercations between teenagers” led to its decision to shut down three hours earlier than scheduled.
Enhanced security measures were visible when Knott’s reopened the next day. Visitors needed to have their bags searched and walk through metal detectors before entering the park, where staff wore yellow shirts to increase their visibility. Additional security guards in white uniforms in white kept watch.
Griselda Navarro, a mother of two, said that the fighting worried her but reached a compromise with her kids – they had to leave the park before dark.
“I think Knott’s is safe, but you have to be careful,” Navarro told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. “You never know what can happen.”
The 57-acre theme park began as a roadside berry stand in the 1920s. Shops, restaurants and other attractions were constructed on the property over the next few decades to entertain the growing number of visitors.