CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - This weekend was the opening of Scarowinds, when Carowinds transforms into a spooky playground full of haunted houses after regular park hours.
But some people who turned out over the weekend say the park was out of control with crowds stirring up violence. WBTV received several complaints from people who feared for their safety.
Teran Armstrong says she turns out for Scarowinds every year that she can. It’s the place she chose for one of the biggest days of her life.
“Three years ago my husband and I actually got married there,” Armstrong said. “We won a contest on the radio.”
Saturday night they got a babysitter and headed to the park to celebrate their anniversary, but romance turned to violence.
“I saw a swarm of about 100 people take off running, and of course nowadays when you see a swarm like that you go into panic,” Armstrong said.
The cause of the commotion was a fight between kids.
Armstrong says she also saw various kids smoking marijuana throughout the park.
Several people sent us a video posted to social media showing several girls hitting each other as crowds surrounded them.
After this story aired, WBTV received additional videos showing other fights in the park.
A spokesperson for Carowinds sent WBTV a statement:
“On Saturday night, September 14, an altercation between some park guests broke out. Park security and York County Sheriffs, who were on site, responded quickly and handled the situation appropriately. The guests involved were ejected and banned from the park. The safety and security of our guests and associates is our highest priority.”
Armstrong says she did not see this kind of action being taken after the three fights she witnessed.
“Security was running by blowing whistles,” she said. “People were not listening, so they just kept running.”
After the third fight she complained to guest services and asked if she could be refunded for her season pass. She says she was told they could not do that.
Now she wants parents to be aware.
“It’s not a safe place to take your children, and just being an innocent bystander you could be injured right now," she said.
Armstrong is one of several people who reached out to our station with concerns.
According to the York County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a crowd building at the Quik Trip and Wendy’s outside of the park on Saturday night.
The office’s mounted patrol works weekends at Scarowinds as overtime duty as a deterrent to any attempted car break-ins in the parking lot.
According to CMPD, their department did not receive any calls related to incidents at the park.