Fight shuts down Grand Haven pier, fireworks still on

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The pier in Grand Haven is shut down for the rest of Thursday after a large fight, but preparations are still underway for the fireworks.

Officials with Grand Haven Department of Public Safety told 24 Hour News 8 that a large fight broke out on the pier around 4:30 p.m. Grand Haven State Park.

They used pepper spray to break up the altercation. Then, the pier was closed for the day.

Rising waters along the lakeshore are also adding another layer to the potential problems on the beach this Fourth of July.

More water means less beach for the same amount of people. 

“Many more people in a much smaller area than they are used to,” said Sgt. Josh Tomes with the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. “You can run into problems, people have arguments they’ll be starting to fight over space.”

Tomes showed 24 Hour News 8 a rundown of the operations for Thursday.

“Basically, it’s all hands on deck,” Tomes said. “The DNR has conservation officers here, they’ve brought on a total of 25 officers for just today.”

That’s more than 20 times the normal one or two DNR officers patrolling the beach any other day.

They are positioned at every beach entrance checking bags and coolers for booze. There are other precautions in place, including extra barricades.  

“Established extra perimeters to make sure that some of the problems that other areas have had running over pedestrians or anything like that,” Tomes said. 

He explained that because the beach is so packed, in case of emergency instructions will be broadcast over loudspeakers.

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