Weather tempers Oktoberfest party environment
By MIKE CORN
Conditions were ideal for Friday's Oktoberfest celebration, albeit a bit on the windy side.
But as the sun set Friday evening and temperatures plummeted, the parties headed inside leading to a relatively quiet weekend for law enforcement in Ellis County.
The only big incident was reported early Sunday morning, and it didn't have any connection to Oktoberfest. In that instance, law enforcement eventually arrested a Kinsley man for leading police on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle that ended when an Ellis County Sheriff's department patrol cruiser was hit and both the deputy and driver of the 1998 Ford pickup went into the ditch.
For Hays, where the heart of the Oktoberfest celebration was underway, Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler said the city was relatively quiet.
"We had eight DUIs for the police department," Scheibler said of arrests made for driving under the influence.
Agents from the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control office were on hand, but Scheibler said he was uncertain how many citations they issued.
But it was the weather that dampened spirits for many of the parties that sometimes carry on into the early morning hours after the Oktoberfest celebration in Frontier Park has long ended.
"We had a beautiful day for Oktoberfest," Scheibler said. "A little windy. But as the sun went down, the temperature cooled quickly and that helped keep a lid on things."
It didn't, however, stop an early Friday evening altercation at Toby Jugs, in which a Hays man reportedly was struck in the back of the head with a beer bottle.
The incident was reported at 7 p.m. Friday, Scheibler said.
Shortly after the incident, the suspect fled the scene and the victim headed to Hays Medical Center. Scheibler said the man decided against continuing to the hospital and reported only minor injuries.
The investigation into the aggravated battery is ongoing, he said, and charges are possible.