Desoto County News

Police chief, mayor make statements about Springfest incident

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite has come out with a strong statement about the incident Saturday night that forced the early closure of the city’s Springfest festival celebration. 

Police Chief Brent Vickers also released a statement refuting social media chatter about shots being fired when a fist-fight brawl broke out between teenagers.

Vickers said officers were near where the initial brawl took place and they never heard shots being fired. 

“There was never any evidence or injuries to support this (shots fired),” Vickers told DeSoto County News.  “Reports of any shooting are false.” 

Vickers also said that with the help of other law enforcement agencies they were able to control the situation and disperse the crowd, then closed the carnival for the remainder of the evening.  The police chief added that two people were arrested for disorderly conduct. 

Mayor Musselwhite took to his social media page to comment on the incident, confirming that arrests were made and the investigation into Saturday’s incident continues.  

Musselwhite defended the city’s safety measures in preparations for Springfest and laid the blame squarely on unsupervised boys who meant only to mix it up between groups.  

“The problem Saturday night was caused by juveniles who were left unsupervised by their parents and who were there to cause trouble,” the mayor said. “This was not a typical fight between teenage boys.  These juveniles shouted profanity at the police and refused to comply with authority.”

Musselwhite’s strong words also placed blame for the unrest at the feet of parents not supervising their teenagers and not teaching respect, manners, and discipline. He did say the result of Saturday’s incident means some changes may need to be made.  

“We will make adjustments to our carnival next year, but I will not let a small group of bad actors ruin the many great events we have in Southaven,” said Musselwhite. “Parents, listen carefully, we will not babysit your kids anywhere in our city or teach them what you’ve failed to teach them, but we will hold them accountable here.”

He also said there would be no refunds because the carnival had to close early, and that the unused tickets purchased for rides can be used next year at Springfest or with any other carnival done elsewhere by the carnival vendor, PBJ Happee Day Shows of Marion, Arkansas.