Mayhem at Lake George: Video captures violent brawl that broke out at annual Florida party
An unsanctioned lake party that takes place in Florida every year descended into chaos after a major brawl broke out in the waters on Saturday, May 7.
The melee at the event dubbed "Mayhem at Lake George" was caught on camera as a fight broke out around a DJ deck anchored in the water. Video captured by Volusia County's Air One rescue helicopter showed about half a dozen men engaged in an altercation near the DJ Barge. The chopper also spotted a man unconscious on the stage bleeding from his head before he was rushed to the hospital.
Hundreds of boaters gathered at Lake George for Saturday's "Mayhem" event, tying up their vessels for the annual party that features swimming, music, and libations. “People are just out there to have a good time, but like anything else, when you have a huge concentration of people like this and you have alcohol involved, you do have some incidents,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. Volusia deputies along with partners from Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Florida, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, County of Volusia Fire, and the U.S. Coast Guard were at the scene, WESH 2 reported.
WATCH: The Volusia County Sheriff's Office in Florida released wild footage of huge crowds and violent fights at the "Mayhem at Lake George 2022" event on May 7th. Local authorities said arrests were made and several citations and warnings were issued. pic.twitter.com/MHJk3a78OM— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) May 10, 2022
Authorities reported a fight that led to serious head injuries for one of the revelers. Chitwood, who was in the water alongside marine units and units from Lake, Seminole, Orange, and St. Johns Counties, FWC, and the Coast Guard, said getting through the crowds to the injured victim was a huge task. “It took a while to get the medical attention to him. It took a while to get him to a landing zone where Air One had to improvise to land which was a feat in itself. They landed on basically a postage stamp,” Chitwood said.
Authorities gave at least 40 warnings and wrote eight citations for Boating Under the Influence. While the majority of the crowd was well behaved, there were a handful of arrests. Meanwhile, first responders were at the scene for at least 12 hours, thereby incurring considerable expenses to the agency. “As a community, you have to put all these resources out there because something horrible could go wrong,” Chitwood said, adding that it was unlikely they could recoup any of the expenses.
Patrolling "Mayhem at Lake George 2022" today was a team effort. THANK YOU to our partners with @MyFWC @SeminoleSO @OrangeCoSheriff @LakeCountySO @SJSOPIO@CountyOfVolusia Fire @USCG— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) May 8, 2022
for all the assistance pic.twitter.com/3qMQSm1FfL
That said, the unsanctioned "Mayhem at Lake George" event has become an annual tradition held on the lake on the first Saturday of every May. "It’s a moneymaker for the businesses around the area," local Dennis Kendall told Fox 35 Orlando. "People come to the restaurants, buy gas and stuff like that, so it does help out the community." While Kendall isn't bothered by the event, he said he likes to stay off the water when the big parties come to town. "Just let them do their thing. It ain’t bothering me. Let them go and do whatever. The law enforcement’s going to get them if they’re running around doing anything wrong," the local resident added.