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May 5, 1999

Cinco De Mayo Promotion Gets Out Of Control

Buena Park, CA - Two hundred police officers were called in this morning to deal with a crowd of out of control teenagers who started to fight and throw objects after being turned away from Knott's Berry Farm this morning.

The incident began at 11:30 a.m. an hour after the park reached capacity forcing it to close the gates on thousands of guest trying to enter the park.

Police officers arrested a half a dozen youths in the incident. Park officials and local law enforcement continued to monitor the situation in the park, fearing potential problems with the capacity crowd.

This afternoon Knott's officials confirmed that they would close the park three hours early at 5:00 p.m. The park had been scheduled to be open until 8:00 p.m.

Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM had teamed up with Knott's Berry Farm to offer nickel admission in celebration of the Cinco De Mayo holiday. The special "Cinco Dees Mayo" promotion, named after on air personality Rick Dees, began at 6:00 a.m.

According to a park employee some people arrived as early as 4:00 a.m. to wait in line to park for the promotion.

At 9:30 am Rick Dees announced on the air that the park was nearing capacity and those still planning to come should not bother. He also indicated that there was bad traffic in the area and parking was becoming very limited.

Following the incident station officials stated that the promotion had attracted far more people than they or Knott's had anticipated. They also wanted to apologize those who had to be turned away.