NewsLocal News


Annual Akron Father's Day cookout canceled, teen fight took place at the event last year

Posted at 11:32 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 23:32:10-04

The annual Father's Day cookout at Perkins Park in Akron has been canceled according to city leaders, but it's still not clear why.

The 2017 cookout was marred by a fight that broke out among two dozen teens, sending Akron police to these scene.

The incident captured on camera by a resident who witnessed the disturbance, but didn't want to be identified.

No one was injured during the incident, but some residents living near Perkins Park are pleased the Father's Day event won't be held there this year.

The fight had some who use the park regularly calling for improvements in security and facilities.

Eric Jones, with the Akron Titans Youth Football Program, told News 5 police patrols and park safety are highly important to the 70 children who practice at the park weekly.

Jones said the park bathrooms need to be repaired, security lighting needs to be added to the park pavilion and more.

"It's just unsafe for the kids, you that ain't right," Jones said. 

"When it gets dark we don't have any lighting."

"There isn't a swing set that is good for the kids, there isn't any mulch in there, just dirt. The fence isn't secure, one of the kids can just go down into the woods and be lost."

News 5 contacted the City of Akron and it responded quickly.

The city said it is in the process of making key Perkins Park improvements, many of which will be on the way this summer.

The city reported there have only been 16 calls for police to the park thus far this year, some of those calls were for security patrols.

Still, Jones and residents living near the park believe more must be done, especially after they said budget cuts hurt important programs.

"They used to have a lunch program, now they don't have a lunch program for the kids," Jones said. 

"The swimming pool, they don't have any access to the swimming pool, so now what are the kids going to do?"

"It's a shame, the Father's Day cookout at Perkins was always a great event."