Balloon Race weekend flies by without serious crime

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NATCHEZ — Despite a few alcohol-related arrests over the weekend, local law enforcement officials say the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race went off without a criminal hitch.

Natchez Police Detective Jerry Ford and Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said both agencies had extra patrol downtown for the balloon festivities.

“We didn’t have the first problem,” Mayfield said. “Most of the people who approached our deputies were just looking for restaurants or a place to park.”

Email newsletter signup

Ford said there were a handful of disturbances at downtown bars, which he said are common on any given weekend. But he said there was no trouble for NPD at the festival grounds.

“I actually think this was a better year than in the past,” he said.

Six people were booked in the Adams County Jail for driving under the influence, but Mayfield said those arrests came from the Mississippi Highway Patrol, who he said set up road blocks and patrolled the county.

The festival grounds were staffed with a security staff, some of who were off-duty police officers, Ford said.

“I think that pretty much took care of any problems that people might have posed,” he said.