KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A family vacationing in Kansas City says their Fourth of July at Worlds Of Fun quickly turned into a nightmare when a huge fight broke out, and they were surrounded by dozens of teenagers fighting.
Just before 10 p.m. on Tuesday, a family of four from South Dakota was at Worlds Of Fun trying to catch a shuttle bus back to their hotel, but what happened as they waited is something they say they’ll never forget.
“It started to get really packed, a lot of people coming in, and we decided to have the shuttle bus pick us up at 9:45 to get out of there and beat the rush,” said Michelle Gibson.
As the Gibson family was leaving the theme park at the pick up and drop off area, they say dozens of teenagers started making their way toward them.
“A group of kids had come up and they were being pretty rowdy, a lot of foul language, made us pretty uncomfortable. I explained to my kids, don’t stare, and just watch the fireworks, the fireworks were still going on, so we just tried to ignore them and move as far away as we could from them,” added Gibson.
“I was videoing the fireworks display, then I heard a big smack,” Gibson said. “And there a fight broke out between two girls, they were down on the ground.”
Gibson, her two daughters, ages 6 and 7, and her husband say they were surrounded by about 100 teenagers in a matter of seconds.
“Everybody just started running in, kids from everywhere, they came from the parking lot, the grass, and at that point we were being pushed, there was stuff knocked out of our stroller. They were behind us, in front of us, beside us, and everybody was fighting then,” Gibson described.
She was already recording the fireworks so she watched it all unfold on video as she wondered how to protect her young children.
“How do we get out of this, I was so scared for my kids because they were hysterically screaming,” said Gibson.
She says security eventually came and tried to get the crowd of kids to disperse. She says they weren’t allowing anyone back in, so their shuttle bus couldn’t get through.
“It was over two hours we waited before they let them come, they knew we were waiting for them, they wouldn’t let us leave because there were kids everywhere,” Gibson said tearfully. “My daughters had to wet their pants.”
They were eventually escorted onto the shuttle bus by security, but say the damage was already done.
“It was hard to explain to the kids… they didn’t understand what was going on,” added Gibson, “Seeing one girl pulling another girl’s hair, how do you explain that to kids that are innocent.”
Gibson says Worlds Of Fun offered them free passes and fast lane passes for Wednesday, and apologized for everything. She says she hopes no one else ever has to witness something like this, especially young children.
“Something different has to go on there, I can’t believe this would happen at a family amusement park,” Gibson said.
A spokesman for Worlds Of Fun says they are working directly with Gibson. He also says there is security in the park and in parking lot at all times, both uniformed and under cover.