The carnival at the Eastpoint Mall in Dundalk is canceled for the remainder of the spring after an incident on Easter in which 26 young people were arrested during a disturbance and subsequent fights near the event.
In a post on social media, the Eastpoint Mall wrote that the “Jolly Shows Carnival will be closed for the remainder of the days scheduled at Eastpoint Mall.” The carnival was scheduled to run April 17 to May 5, according to the Jolly Shows Spring Carnival’s website.
The mall did not offer any further explanation for the decision. Mall and carnival officials did not return calls for comment Monday.
Carnival and mall officials shut down the carnival Sunday, police said, because officials were “overwhelmed” by the number of people at the event.
As a crowd of about 1,000 people left, police said, it became unruly and police received calls about teenagers going into the surrounding neighborhoods, acting rowdy and fighting.
Police started getting calls around 6 p.m., said Officer Shawn Vinson, spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department.
By the end of the incident, teenagers could be seen running away from the mall with police helicopters in the air searching for anyone lingering in the area.
In all, 26 people were arrested and charged as juveniles with disorderly conduct. While there were no injuries, officials responded with considerable resources, with at least 50 officers from the county and Maryland Transit Administration police responding. The state agency also lent the county buses to transport people away from the area.
With two incidents in the past two months, Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell took to Facebook on Monday to blame Sunday’s incident and others on Baltimore city residents, saying the county is “under siege by people who do not live or work here and have no idea how to act in a civil society.
“All of the work being done to strengthen and improve our community is being undermined by City residents who somehow think it is ok to run wild, intimidate drivers at intersections, and come to our community to do nothing more than commit crime or cause chaos.”
Crandell, a Republican who represents the county’s 7th district, which includes the mall, wrote on social media that he is calling on County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. “to take action, to get control of this situation, and to use his authority to end this siege on our peace and prosperity so we can be the community we deserve to be.”
“We have had enough!” he wrote. “We have worked too hard and have too much pride. We need answers to this crisis.”
Crandell did not respond to calls for comment made to his Eastpoint Mall-based district office.
A spokesman for the county executive wrote that Olszewski “is not interested in pointing fingers.”
“We are working with the mall, the police, and the community to come up with long term sustainable solution,” spokesman TJ Smith wrote. “We had similar concerns at Towson and White Marsh. We hadn’t heard from the Councilman, so we weren’t aware of his concerns.”
Crandell’s rhetoric mirrors some sentiments regarding the relationship between county and city residents in recent years.
City Councilman Zeke Cohen, who represents the city’s 1st District, which includes the stretch of Eastern Avenue leading to the Dundalk mall, said Crandell’s comments were “dog whistle racism.”
“The idea of the city as this lawless place where crime just sort of spills over is not new,” he said.
The city and county have shared interests and are partnering to improve neighborhoods on the municipal border, Cohen said, and Crandell’s comments do “a disservice to our shared constituents to blame crime on one side of the border or the other.”
Last year, in response to a fight that led to the arrests of two adults and seven juveniles at White Marsh Mall, some county council members suggested that weekend bus services there end earlier in the night.
Then-County Executive Don Mohler called the proposal “outrageous” and Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young called it “like racism.”
In Anne Arundel County, which also borders the city, some residents pushed for train service to and from the city to be closed or limited, citing crime concerns police said were largely unfounded.
Police did not respond to a call Monday asking whether they can identify how many of the 26 arrested are city residents. The department wrote on social media, “Identifying info of a charged juvenile cannot be released under state law.”