'Pirates' may lose some loot Wednesday, May 12, 2004 By John Agar The Grand Rapids Press The band of "pirates" who crashed last week's Kinderparade weren't such merry marauders today. Holland police cited 19 teen-agers -- members of the so-called "American Pirate Association" -- for illegally entering a parade, a civil infraction that carries a $100 fine. The teens had planned the prank for weeks. They slipped into Thursday's Tulip Time kids parade behind the only float -- a sailboat. As some in the crowd laughed, police soon realized that the teen-agers were not supposed to be in the parade. Most of the teen-agers, all West Ottawa High School students, scattered. Ringleader Jonathan Fegel, 17, said he "was going down with the ship," and was held by police. He and another student were detained briefly. "Obviously, the kids didn't have a permit," his mother, Mary Kay Fegel said. "They had no malicious intent. It was just for fun." Her son and another student were suspended for one day at school because they allegedly posted fliers at school about the illegal entry. The others were rounded up later, and all face fines if they admit responsibility. Mary Kay Fegel said her son, who has a band, is very creative. Growing up, he liked to do impersonations, and funny voices. She said he would make a great improvisational actor. "He's just always been on stage." She said her son planned to write letters of apology to parade organizers. Since the parade, she said, she has heard mostly positive comments, . with some saying the prank livened up the parade. She just wanted people to know that those involved are good kids and leaders at school. "They're not terrible kids," she said. "They're good kids. (Her son) doesn't get in trouble. He's just very creative. He kind of thinks outside the box." While police acknowledge the teen-agers had no bad intent, Chief John Kruithoff said the pirates could not be ignored. If police didn't respond, there would be a "competition next year for others" who would try to be even more creative in crashing the parade, Kruithoff said. His other concern was that party crashers, as they ran from police, jumped over spectators who lined the parade route. It was the only way out, with police at the intersections. While no injuries were reported, Kruithoff said children could have easily been hurt. "The whole issue of safety is a concern to me. I watched. They jumped over people who were sitting there watching." He said the pirates meant no harm. "But we are not going to tolerate anyone who doesn't belong in the parade," Kruithoff said. "They're going to get cited. The kids we had here were very cooperative. They aren't bad kids. We're just not going to allow it to happen."