KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two women and a teenage boy were arrested Sunday afternoon after a series of fights marred Free Day at the Kansas City Zoo.
Kansas City, Missouri Police arrested 40-year old Minnie Davidson for resisting arrest. Another woman, Drucilla Davidson, 20, and a 15-year old boy were both charged with assault on a police officer.
The largest fight took place at closing time in the parking lot near the main entrance. But Mary Summers from Independence, Mo., told FOX 4 there was also a huge brawl earlier in the day in the Africa section of the zoo.
“Somebody yelled, ‘Gun!’ and that’s when I just threw my kids underneath the bench and threw myself on top of them,” Summers said.
It began with two groups in their late teens and early twenties flashing gang signs at each other.
“One guy just swung and hit the one guy and that’s when the two groups came together and they started fighting,” Summers said.
The fights took place on one of the zoo’s busiest days of the year. More than 29,000 visitors showed up to take advantage of Free Day for Jackson and Clay County residents.
The zoo offers free day four times a year for those residents because voters in those two counties passed a sales tax to subsidize zoo operations.
“There is no second guessing about whether we’re going to be offering free day. Certainly we’re very, very thankful for the voters of Jackson and Clay County to provide a tax district to support the zoo,” said Geoff Hall, the zoo’s Assistant Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Hall told FOX 4 he sees no connection between Free Day and the fights that broke out. But zoo visitor Lisa Tufty felt the crowds were a factor.
“You could feel a little bit of tension because it was very crowded,” Tufty said.
Tufty came back to the zoo on Monday with her husband Adam Tufty and their grandson.
“We enjoyed ourselves yesterday quite a bit that we came today and bought a season pass,” Adam Tufty said.
But Mary Summers said it may be while before she brings her sons back.
“They forgot all the memories we had all that day and all they remembered was how they were scared.”
Summers say she hopes the zoo beefs up security on June 29th, the next Free Day at the zoo.