Parents keep kids away from popular park after seeing armed man - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Parents keep kids away from popular park after armed man shows up twice


Parents whose children play at a popular park in Forsyth County are worried about a man they've seen carrying a gun.

The sheriff's office investigated after dozens of parents called 911 about the armed man at Fowler Park off Carolene Way.

They said the man was at the park with gun and a knife on Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday, the normally very busy park was empty, no kids anywhere.

"I'm at Fowler Park Rec Center," one concerned man told the 911 operator. "This may be perfectly legal. But there's a dude walking around the parking lot outside the ball fields where all the kids play. He's strolling around the parking lot, and he's got a big pistol tucked in his belt."

One woman called 911 and said, "There's a man with a gun in his pocket walking around the soccer field at Fowler Park in Cumming."

"OK, I know we've received several phone calls, and deputies are working on the situation," replied the operator. "It's the most active time for the children coming in and out. So the parents are starting to get very scared," said the worried caller.

The Forsyth County Sheriff's office put out a statement saying it's aware this man was at the park carrying weapons. But deputies can't do anything about it because by law the man has every right to be there with his knife and gun.

"Unfortunately for parents the man has an Open Carry permit and isn't violating any laws," the sheriff's office said in its statement.

Children in the United Futbol Academy normally plays at Fowler Park's field. The league took matters into its own hands.

In a letter to parents Wednesday it explained it had called police and the Parks and Rec Department.

"Unfortunately, there is no restriction on Open Carry in Forsyth County," the letter said. When Forsyth County deputies questioned the man, "he had a Georgia permit."

United Futbol Academy explained it's looking to hire security, which would take a few days.

"So sorry that on this beautiful day we have to cancel training. For the safety of our players and their ability to focus on training we make this very difficult decision," ended the league's letter.

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