North Carolina State Fair

Law enforcement officers work to keep the fair safe

Posted October 20, 2009

— Officials with the North Carolina State Fair have re-evaluated security needs following a stabbing Saturday night.

“What happened Saturday was a very rare occurrence. It was an isolated incident that occurred between two people who didn't get along for whatever reason, and we have the personnel out here who can respond to those types of situations,” fair spokesman Brian Long said.

Jaylan O'Quinn McNair was stabbed in the back in an open area between the midway and Dorton Arena, Long said. The Durham teen was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at WakeMed and was released early Sunday.

About 300 law enforcement officers walk the grounds every day at the fair, Long said.

In the first four days of the fair, 274,480 people passed through the gates. With so many people gathering in one place, Long said, crowd safety is always a concern.

Fairground security personnel meet every day to evaluate the security needs.

The fair also has plainclothes officers in the crowd to help deter crime. Surveillance cameras are used to monitor the grounds, and an on-site communications center aims to gets security information out quickly.

“I've seen several police. I've seen them at all entrances coming in. They were actually very cordial (and) spoke to the children, and I've seen them throughout the park as we walked around,” fairgoer Brandon Currin said Monday.

Authorities are still investigating the stabbing. No arrests have been made.


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  • emtp2k Oct 20, 2009

    What is funny is that fights, stabbings and shootings have occurred at past NC state fairs but never made the news. My family ran two booths at the state fair for over 20 years and it was a yearly thing. We had numerous law enforcement personnel eat at our booths over the years and the stories they told as well as the injured people we have seen is amazing. Most people have no idea what really goes on at the fair.

  • shortcake53 Oct 20, 2009

    Wont be doing the fair this year. Its so expensive, the flu is everywhere, and its hard to enjoy yourself when your looking at every person you pass wondering if they are going to mug you or something.

  • 6079 SMITH W Oct 20, 2009

    I wonder how many of these "gang members" were dropped off at the fairgrounds by their moms?

  • Dolphan Oct 20, 2009

    Gangs from Durham The Movie Directed by The Shockmaster.

  • Its My Prerogative Oct 20, 2009

    LOL @ The Shockmaster "Gangs from Durham"...Hello gangs are everywhere!!! Glad to know Durham is the only place with gangs. YEAH RIGHT!!! I have to agree that 1 isolated incident is not bad considering the amount of people that pass through the fair gates daily. GREAT JOB law enforcement keep up the good work!!!

  • Space Mountain Oct 20, 2009

    The guy stabbed was from Durham and it was gang related.

  • Dale Oct 20, 2009

    LOL, Gangs from Durham. Now that's funny especially considering there are gangs in Raleigh, Cary, Knightdale etc. Gangs are every where. Gangs just don't live in one location.

  • White Devil Oct 20, 2009

    The Shockmaster: Guess what? They have gangs in Raleigh, not just Durham. I assure you that most of the packs of roving gang members you find there on Friday and Saturday nights are from Raleigh. This wasn't an isolated incident. Friday and Saturday nights are filled with brawls throughout the fairgrounds.

  • Whatever Geez Oct 20, 2009

    no it snot really that bad.....

  • Jeremiah Oct 20, 2009

    "or don't let the ones who look like idiots in.."

    the fair would be a pretty loney place!

    One incident isn't really bad, considering how many people are there.