Officials could not say what started what witnesses said was a series of racially charged incidents that apparently began as early as 7 p.m. in the midway. The midway is located just east of the Pettit National Ice Center and adjacent to the Hank Aaron Bike Trail.
The eyewitness said he was the recipient of several racially charged comments from the black youths. At one point, he said, he approached a security guard and told him he had better get more security to the scene. He said he told the security officer that “trouble was brewing.”
“The scariest part is that we were trapped between the midway and the exits by the mob, we had no way out. It was very frightening,” the hospital worker said. “It was glaringly obvious something was going to happen long before it did,” the hospital worker said.
One woman, a Marquette University employee, had left the fair with a friend. She said they had just turned onto S. 84th St., across the street from the fair and were headed north toward I-94 when they saw young black youths running between cars on the street.
“Then groups of kids began surging, all running at cars,” she said. “Some kids ran up on the hood of the car in front of us, bounced on it and jumped off. That guy looked like he got out of the car. When he came back his face was bloody.”
She said she wasn’t sure if the man was able to get medical attention. “I saw somebody in the car with cellphones, probably calling police.”
“It was scary and it was confusing,” she added. “We didn’t know what was happening. We didn’t see any law enforcement officer.”
She said she and her friend were concerned that somebody would try to break into their car. “There were so many people coming at you. Yes, it was scary.
The fair incidents are similar to mob-like disturbances that occurred over the Fourth of July weekend in Milwaukee.
About 60 young people beat and robbed a smaller group that had been watching fireworks from Kilbourn Reservoir Park. The injured people were white; the attackers were African-American, witnesses said.“