Lubbock County Officials and Local Homeowners React to Crowds at Buffalo Springs Lake

Updated: May. 4, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - An investigation is underway, following a fight at Buffalo Springs Lake over the weekend that has gone viral on social media.

One of the videos that shows the fight has more than 100,000 views on Facebook. While the fight itself is extremely unsettling, what has one Lubbock County official even more concerned is the amount of people that were in the area to begin with, when social distancing is still the law of the land.

“The problem really kind of started with the large amount of crowds that started gathering earlier in the day,” said Lubbock County Judge, Curtis Parrish. He says visitors shown in photos and videos from that day were not using their best judgement.

“What we would like to point out is, even though parks are open, even though outdoor events are available to go to, there still needs to be some social distancing,” added Parrish.

He says the county is adhering to specific directives,“It’s a requirement from the governor’s office and it’s enforced by the governor’s office and so we encourage all people, please obey the social distancing guidelines.”

Buffalo Springs Lake Homeowner - and former General Manager, Greg Thornton, says when it came to this weekend’s events, he was concerned by something specific, “What I saw mostly was families. The kids on the beach were a different, they were a different clique. You know, most people were keeping to themselves. But, the beaches drew the kids and they were like, spring break mentality.”

Following Saturday night’s fight, officials announced that while the park is still open and beaches are still accessible beginning at sunrise, they will close at 8 p.m. In addition, several rules are listed on their website detailing those social distancing guidelines; one of which tells visitors to stay at least six feet away from anyone who did not arrive in the same car as them, and states that guests will be asked to leave if they gather in groups of 10 people or more.

Judge Parrish says there’s a specific reason these guidelines are in place, “Even though it is May and even though some of our businesses are re-open, it doesn’t mean that we can relax, because this, the whole point is to flatten this curve. And if we completely re-open and completely ignore the social distancing guidelines, we’re going to have these spikes again and that’s one thing we’re trying to desperately avoid.”

Something Thornton understands, “I think everybody wants families to come out – but, at the same time, you’re in the middle of a pandemic….think about everybody else, take care of yourself and your neighbors, you know?”

KCBD did reach out to officials at Buffalo Springs Lake, however, because Saturday’s incident is still under investigation, they were unable to make a comment about any specific details.

KCBD also reached out to the Lubbock County Sheriff’s office, which confirmed that there will be an increased patrol presence at the lake in the coming days, following a request from the Buffalo Springs Lake Police Department.

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