Fairgoer says he was caught in the middle of the chaos

9:15 AM, Feb 9, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Innocent fair goers were knocked to the ground after fights broke out Friday night.

Fair officials decided to close the fair early after 99 people were ejected and 12 were arrested.

David Donohue says a day at the fair for him and his sons quickly turned from fun to frightening.

"We were standing in front of a ride and a rush came by and I got knocked up next to one of the booths," says Donohue.

Moments later, he realized he was caught in-between a fight breaking out along the Midway.

"He hit me here on the temple and it hurt really bad," says David's son.

"They trampled me and another guy came and stepped on my chest," says David's other son, Mason.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says close to 100 people were ejected for fighting.

"We had one deputy who was pulling off one kid and got attacked from another kid," says Colonel Jim Previtera.

A window on a food stand was replaced after falling victim to someone's punch.

"They were stealing candy apples from [there] and throwing them at are deputies," says Previtera.

The sheriff's office says it had no choice but to decide to close the fair down early.

"We made the best decision to close this place down," says Previtera.

For Donohue, he says something has to change before he decides to go back.

"I was just horrified and that's why I called Channel 10. I wanted people to know what happened," says Donohue.

The sheriff's office says fights are not acceptable and they will make sure it doesn't happen again. They have guys in uniforms and street clothes monitoring the midway all throughout the day while the fair is open.

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