Fact Check

Did a Florida Man Attack a Woman at a Ferris Wheel?

Terrifyingly, the Ferris wheel started operating while people were still on the platform.

Published April 19, 2021

Image Via Wikipedia
A Ferris wheel operator in Opa-locka, Florida, attacked a woman after she exited the ride.

In April 2021, Snopes readers asked for verification of a viral video that showed a male ride operator in Opa-locka, a small city northwest of Miami, Florida, shove a woman with two small children, sparking a furious brawl.

Local news reports confirmed the broader strokes of what happened on the evening of April 17, 2021, at the Opa-locka Hialeah Flea Market with police, who responded to the incident. We reached out to the Opa-locka Police Department and the flea market, but have yet to receive a response. We will update this story if we receive any new relevant information.

The video that went viral shows a woman getting off the Ferris wheel with two young children. She confronts the male ride operator, although what she said can't quite be heard in the video. The man responds by screaming obscenities at the woman and shoving her, knocking her off her feet, and also causing the smaller of the two children, who appears to be a toddler, to fall down.

This did not sit well with bystanders, who immediately respond by jumping in and landing punches on the ride operator. As if that wasn't chaotic enough, the Ferris wheel dangerously started back up, with people on the ride platform.

Opa-locka police told Miami-based news station WPLG that police were called to the scene and were originally unable to locate the woman to interview her about the incident, but did so after the fact. Police told WPLG that there was enough evidence to arrest the ride operator.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more