Man claims deputies used cruisers to force people to leave concert

Man claims deputies used cruisers to force people to leave concert

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A James Island man says Charleston County deputies used their cruisers to get people to leave a concert Saturday night.

Tom Steenhuysen took his family to the concert at James Island County Park.

Steenhuysen says one thing stood out in particular.

"There was a lot of police presence," he recalled.

It was what happened near the end of the concert that caught his eyes and ears.

"We heard one of the band members go to the audience saying we can't play past 11, because they'll throw all of us in jail. And we're looking like it's kind of funny. I'm sure it's not that bad."

Steenhuysen says he then saw three sheriff's cruisers behind him.

"And they're moving, literally inching their way forward, that felt kind of tightening or heightening of the anxiety," he said.

One of Steenhuysen's friends shot video at the end of the concert.

You can hear a deputy saying on his megaphone "Party is over, it's time to go."

"And it turned this whole, happy, easy going feeling into something's wrong, something bad is happening, and you guys gotta leave," said Steenhuysen. "Be present, but not be overpoweringly present."

Steenhuysen fired off a complaint letter to the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

He signed the letter, 'A shaken father.'

Parks and Recreation Commission spokeswoman Sarah Reynolds responded to me and Steenhuysen.

Reynolds said it's never their plan or intention to cause any fear or anxiety, or make anyone feel as though they are being pushed to leave an event.

Reynolds also said event coordinators are working with the sheriff's office to ensure in the future crowd control is conducted with safety as well as customer service in mind.

Steenhuysen said he is satisfied with the response and plans to attend more concerts at the park this summer.

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