Threat of violence keeping some away from Thunder, Pegasus Parade


by Chelsea Rabideau

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 10 at 10:04 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) – Typically, about 700,000 people would pack the great lawn at Waterfront Park to take in the airshow and fireworks. But, threats of violence could be enough to keep some families home.

A leaked FBI memo details the possibility of threats by the YNO gang to Kentucky Derby Festival events, specifically the Pegasus Parade. Despite assurances from police and KDF organizers that the events are safe.

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said in a press conference Monday, “There is no day, no day of the year that we are better prepared downtown to handle a problem.”

Many people just don’t trust those promises when it comes to the mass of people that will crowd the Waterfront on Thunder Day.

“I don’t even feel comfortable going down in the middle of the afternoon anymore,” said Brittany Gaunt, who refuses to take her young children to Thunder this year because of the threats.

We also asked about the parade, which seemed to be less of a concern for the parents we spoke with.

“I’m not sure if it’s the fact that it’s during the day, it’s a lot more spread out, not as many people in a concentrated area, but I wouldn’t be afraid to take my kids and my family to the Pegasus Parade,” explained Brooke Bond, a mother of two young boys.

Another mother, Paige Roach, said, “We’ll probably go to the parade; we really enjoy that, our kids really like it.”

For others still, it’s not the big events they’re worried about; it’s the fact that this violence happened in the first place.

“I’m extremely disturbed that this has evidently been going on and nothing’s been done. And it took something on this scale, that officials have finally done something,” said Patricia Alexander, a mother of a teenage son.

Police are asking parents not to let any minor children attend the event without adult supervision.