You will rarely see physical altercations among visitors in Metro Parks. When they do happen, it almost always stems from previous history, or issues outside of the park, but end up in the park. Case in point, Rangers at Sharon Woods Metro Park dealt with an interesting situation a couple weekends ago.
While on patrol, a ranger noticed a vehicle in the grass between the shelter and the parking lot, a clear violation of Metro Park Rules and Regulations. When the ranger stepped out of the patrol truck to address the violation, she was immediately surrounded by people yelling and screaming at her and each other. All of these people were claiming to have been assaulted. Rangers called for assistance from our friends at Sharon Township Police Department and began sorting out what had happened.
Two repo agents located a vehicle at Sharon Woods, one they had been hired to repossess. They began to repossess the car, getting it up on a tow truck lift before the owner took notice. The owner was attending a family reunion at the park with approximately 150 friends and family members. As you can imagine, or if you watch any reality tv shows surrounding repossession, you know that emotions tend to run a little high during such events. The owner and his family took exception to the car being repossessed and surrounded the repo agents to voice their displeasure. While the argument ensued, the owner actually cut the tow truck straps and removed his vehicle from the tow truck. Once off the tow truck, the only way for the driver to escape was to drive through the grass.
Now, the repo agents claim the family members assaulted them and that the family took the first swing. The family members say the repo agents were the ones that wanted to fight, that the family members were the ones assaulted, and that the repo agents took the first swing. No third party witnesses could be located to corroborate either group’s statements. Therefore, rangers and Sharon Township constables took reports and referred everyone to the prosecutor’s office if they wished to move forward with pressing charges. Rangers and constables also asked the family group to leave for the day due to the disorderly conduct.
And what happened to the owner of the vehicle? When the dust settled, the car was nowhere to be found, having slipped out of the park during the initial chaotic moments. Perhaps the best time to repossess a car is not in sight of the owner attending a family reunion.