Eatonville residents gathered at the town’s skate park Wednesday evening to remember a young life cut short. The night ended with five police officers disbanding the group and at least one man being placed in handcuffs.
Karriana Fisher was 19 when she died last week in an ATV accident. About 120 friends and family held a candlelight vigil for her Wednesday.
Katelyn Siguaw, 18, organized the vigil. She said it started as a simple idea to honor her good friend; she didn’t expect such a large turnout.
After struggling with her father’s death a few years ago, Siguaw said she knew how difficult Fisher’s death was for family and friends. She wanted to give people an outlet to share memories and seek closure.
Siguaw said Fisher always smiled, had a beautiful singing voice and shared a positive outlook on life.
“She was a beautiful person,” she said.
After participation in the vigil grew, Siguaw and her mother, Linda, decided to have it at the skate park.
“We all used to hang out there after school,” Siguaw said. “We have a lot of memories there.”
Eatonville Police Chief Jason McGuire said officers arrived following a noise complaint around 9 p.m. They explained to the crowd it didn’t have a permit to continue the event.
Many people cooperated but about 50 refused to leave, McGuire said.
“We understand they are grieving, but we also understand the neighborhood wants to sleep, too,” he said.
Linda Siguaw said she was one of many parents at the vigil, some of whom live near the park. The group was not being noisy, she said.
After attempting to reason with officers, Linda Siguaw said the group was treated poorly and many of them sat in protest.
“The kids stood their ground,” she said.
Katelyn Siguaw said she understands there are rules, but she thinks the officers overreacted.
“They didn’t want to listen at all,” she said. “They treated us as if we were thrashing the park.”
The park is closed from dusk until dawn, and has had ongoing problems with public intoxication, vandalism and drug use after hours, McGuire said.
There was no drinking at the vigil, but McGuire said some people were intoxicated and one man was detained after urinating in front of officers. No charges resulted from the incident.
Mayor Ray Harper said the skate park wasn’t the best place to hold the vigil, and had organizers approached officials in advance, the town could have made proper arrangements.
“It was probably one of the worst places in the town to do that,” Harper said.
Katelyn and Linda Siguaw said they know now to obtain a permit in the future.
“When you’re in mourning, you don’t think of things like that,” Linda Siguaw said.Kari Plog: 253-597-8682