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Muni Lot safety: Questions arise after brawl between fans

As thousands of Browns fans plan to head back downtown this weekend, some are wondering if it’s safe to tailgate after a video of a fight in the muni lot went viral.

CLEVELAND — Ask people from Cleveland what tailgating at the Muni Lot means and you'll get different answers, but they all mean the same thing.

"It's a rite of passage in Cleveland for all of the Browns fans," City Councilman Blaine Griffin said.

"The Muni Lot a community of fans that come together, that's like a tradition like no other," superfan Gus Angelone, known as "Pumpkin Head," added.

However, after a brawl last Sunday went viral and was picked up by outlets like TMZ, the New York Post and Barstool, the impression to some — especially outside the city — may be a little different.

"These kinds of incidents are unacceptable, and they make all of us in the city look bad when this kind of thing happens," Griffin said.

"I think that was just a couple of people trying to make a video go viral and show what we're not about here in Cleveland," Angelone remarked.

Griffin, who is the chairman of City Council's Safety Committee, says this was an isolated incident that got out of hand.

"Actually, we don't see it as much as people think," he told 3News. "We do see a lot of people inebriated, but you don't see these kinds of brawls often."

The Cleveland Division Police issued the following statement to 3News:

"The division is aware of the fight that occurred last weekend and a report was generated. Visitors to the Muni Lot are reminded to follow the rules of the lot and to report criminal activity to law enforcement. Call 911 in emergencies and 216-621-1234 in non-emergencies."

If you don't know the rules or have forgotten, here they are. They cover things like what you can use to grill and getting spaces, but also state no alcohol is permitted and that lanes must remain clear of activity. There were two things obviously not followed in the video from last Sunday.

"We want people to come to the Muni Lot to enjoy our city, but please control your alcohol consumption," Griffin pleaded.

Cleveland police also stated that members law enforcement are assigned to the lot but couldn't give an exact number of how many officers due to it being tactical information. Griffin says he's convinced they'll be cracking down after last week's incident.

"You already have foot patrols, you already have a lot of surveillance' and I'm sure working with the Cleveland Division of Police, they'll be able to monitor this and stop it from happening again," he said.

As Angelone and Griffin both put it, the city finally has a good team to root for. They don't want to ruin this Cleveland rite of passage in a potentially extra-long season.

"We've only got nine precious home games, so enjoy them," Angelone stated. "I really think this team is a contender and we're ready to roll."

"Let's face it, we've got a heck of a team," Griffin said. "We've got a good shot to go to the Super Bowl this year. Let's not tarnish it or blemish it with these kinds of activities."