Two arrested after altercation at ‘Drag Story Hour’ in Wadsworth

Pepper spray found on video at Wadsworth event
Pepper spray found on video at Wadsworth event(Source: Wadsworth police)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:00 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A “Rock & Roll Humanist Drag Queen Story Hour” in Wadsworth on Saturday was the center of both supporters and protestors attention.

Several hundred people attended the citizen-hosted event held at Memorial Park, which garnered attention from residents of other cities as well as other states.

Police said both protestors and supporters attended the event armed, carrying signs, banners, bullhorns and megaphones.

“Some of the more militant protestors were identified as Nazis,” Wadsworth police said.

Throughout the day, police said tensions grew, with two people being involved in an altercation.

Both 22-year-old Juan Carlos Collado Diaz and 45-year-old Jason McKenna were taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct.

Wadsworth police said two other reports of assault are being investigated.

EMS responded to three unrelated medical emergencies at the event, as well as treated three people who were pepper sprayed during one of the altercations.

Police said they received multiple videos showing a man with a firearm, which was later determined to be a Kimber pepper spray dispenser.

The person holding the dispenser was one of the two arrested, but is not believed to have used the device.

“The Wadsworth Police Department is committed to protecting the public and upholding the law to include every person’s First Amendment right to free speech and assembly,” Wadsworth police said. “It is our duty to uphold constitutional rights while maintaining order and protecting the people. We are extremely grateful to all our mutual aid partners and individuals from other agencies who came together to assist us during this event.”

Other agencies on scene included: the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Medina PD, Montville PD, Brunswick PD, Brunswick Hills PD, Hinckley PD, Seville PD, Spencer PD, Medina County Drug Task Force, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Medina County SWAT, Wadsworth Fire & EMS, Sharon Fire & EMS, Seville-Guilford Fire & EMS, Medina County EMA, MARCS, Law Director Tom Morris, County Prosecutor Forrest Thompson, and fellow City of Wadsworth Departments.