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Crowd Removed With Chemical Spray As MN State Fair Closed

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) - Law enforcement officers used a chemical spray to disperse a crowd that created a disturbance at the main gate to the Minnesota State Fair as it was drawing to a close, sheriff's officials said.

One man who was part of the disturbance Monday night had a gun, according to Ramsey County Sheriff's spokesman Roy Magnuson. There was no indication the man fired it.

A Ramsey County judge recently rejected a request by a gun owners group for a temporary injunction to require State Fair officials to allow permit holders to carry their weapons on the fairgrounds.

A large group of people attempted to push through the main gates of the fair just after 8 p.m. Monday, Magnuson said. Fairgoers who were trying to leave the grounds were temporarily prevented from doing so.

Fair security personnel and deputies from the sheriff's office sprayed a chemical similar to mace to disperse the crowd, according to Magnuson.

Authorities did not say how big the crowd was, whether there were any arrests or injuries, or what led to the disturbance.

Before the Minnesota State Fair started, more than 150 vendors, exhibitors and musical acts dropped out.

Attendance was down, too. Through the first 11 days, turnout fell just about 40% from 2019. Food vendors say that likely contributed to less revenue.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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