ROCHESTER - The Granite State Fair's first four-day run ended with a violent encounter between two groups of fairgoers that resulted in felony riot arrests for four area residents.
The incident unfolded a little before 8 p.m. on Sunday along the midway not far from the Lafayette Street admissions stand, police say.
"Fair personnel had notified our detail officers on scene of the fight, so they responded to the midway location given," Rochester Police Capt. Todd Pinkham said today. "Officers were told four males were arguing with another male, who was with two females, and they were yelling and swearing."
The man with the two women then took off running, but the four males were able to surround the other male, and he was struck by one of the four males and knocked down, according to police.
After he was knocked down all of the males started punching him, Pinkham said.
"The male being punched pulled a knife in self defense, but did not use the knife in an attack, and no one was struck by the knife," added Pinkham, who noted that some bystanders were then able to break things up.
The parties involved in the melee then all began running, but were soon apprehended by police.
Arrested on felony riot charges were the four who chased the man with two females. including John Krupski, 27, of New Durham; Travis French, 19, of Ossipee; Daniel Demeritt III, 20, of New Durham; and Brendan Hooper, 19, of Wakefield.
The man with the two women was not charged.
Felony riot is defined as when two or more people engage in " tumultuous or violent conduct and thereby purposely or recklessly creates a substantial risk of causing public alarm," according to New Hampshire statute.
The four were released on personal recognizance bail pending an Oct. 27 court date in Strafford Superior Court.