Fair Assault Death COURTESY

Police activity seen from the Ferris wheel at The Great Frederick Fair shortly after the deadly assault in September.

Investigators from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office will meet with the Frederick County State Attorney’s office Monday morning to discuss any possible additional charges stemming from an alleged assault that occurred Friday evening at The Great Frederick Fair.

Sheriff Chuck Jenkins identified the victim Monday morning as 59-year-old John Weed from Mount Airy. He was attacked Friday and died Saturday afternoon after being flown to R. Adam Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, The Frederick News-Post previously reported.

Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said Sunday that based on preliminary info and discussions with investigators, the 15- and 16-year-old men charged in the incident could face either involuntary or voluntary manslaughter, or second-degree murder charges—but emphasized nothing will be finalized until after Monday morning’s meeting.

Those charges would automatically mean both would be charged as adults, Smith said. He added that even if that doesn’t happen, his office would consider filing a waiver petition to waive the two charged into the adult justice system.

The 15-year-old was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment, and a 16-year-old male was charged with second-degree assault, The News-Post previously reported.

Both are currently in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services. Their names have not been released.

Smith said he’s heard about multiple videos circulating around the Internet and about the fact the “knockout” game—where someone punches an unsuspecting person to try and knock them out—might have been a part of the incident.

But he added Monday’s meeting is when his office will nail down what occurred, and if those videos show other people involved.

“At this point in time, we don’t have information that would lead us to charging further individuals … but if the facts lead us to other people that are involved, then we’ll pursue those,” Smith said.

Taylor Clarke, a spokeswoman from the county sheriff’s office, declined to provide any additional details Sunday other than the Monday morning meeting with Smith and his office. 

At the fairgrounds Sunday, workers were breaking down rides and cleaning up the Midway section of the carnival where the incident occurred.

DeShawn Racey said he was in the area when the assault occurred, but didn’t see it. He added the police presence picked up pretty quickly around 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Patty Tessari said she’s worked at the fair for more than 40 years. She’s seen violent events occur at bigger state fairs, but never in Frederick.

“It just makes me sad the way the world is now,” Tessari said while cleaning up her food truck Sunday. “It has nothing to do with the fair ... even back when they bussed people in and had to close the gates, things like that didn’t happen then.”

Jim Ensor has also worked at the fair for more than 40 years, and was working as a volunteer for the Libertytown-Unionville Lions Club. Ensor said he’s never heard of an assault at the fair like the one that happened Friday.


This story has been updated to identify the victim.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter:

@Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

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