PORT CLINTON (13abc Action News) – The Border Battle played a role in getting two people arrested and locked up at the Ottawa County Jail.
A Michigan-Ohio State football argument on the Jet Express allegedly prompted a fight that resulted in assault charges.
Witnesses say the rivalry argument turned physical between two couples with a woman pulling another woman’s hair and the two men throwing punches at each other.
It divides households and pits neighbor against neighbor.
Buckeyes versus Wolverines.
The Border Battle rages every November … but on the water in July?
"That's ridiculous,” says Gary Mahoney, a Sparty fan about to board the Jet Express.
Around 1:45 Sunday morning Port Clinton police arrested a couple from Oregon. They’re accused of assault on the Jet Express as the boat was headed to the dock.
The fight between 25-year-old Ashley Artiaga, 31-year-old Ian Schuster, and complete strangers on the top deck allegedly began because of an argument over Michigan-Ohio State football.
"They were arguing, cursing at each other,” says Ben Freeman, a witness from Cincinnati who was in town for a fishing trip. “As the argument went on, the Michigan fan's girlfriend stood up, pulled the hair of the Ohio State's fan's girlfriend … the wife, actually. He tried to defend his wife by shoving the Michigan fan's girlfriend. The Michigan fan stood up and tried to defend his girlfriend. And after that they mutually started to fist fight and swing on each other. It was crazy.”
"It happens,” says Todd Blumensaadt, owner of the Jet Express. “They get very passionate about their teams."
Blumensaadt says these boats make seven thousand trips a year to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island from the Port Clinton dock.
"We haul a lot of people, bring a lot of people together,” says Blumensaadt. “This was like 1:42 a.m., so I'm guessing there may be a few drinks involved in this one."
The Jet Express puts extra security on the boats on the weekends.
A few times a year they have to call police, but Blumensaadt says, "No gun fights, no knife fights. We have a security table here. Everybody is checked. You're not allowed to have a weapon on the boat."
Meanwhile, folks boarding the Jet Express are baffled that the college football rivalry landed two people in handcuffs.
"It seems kind of silly,” says Larry Money of Port Clinton. “But maybe certain people get into it. I know people are that way and I really don't understand why."
"You've got to know when to draw the line,” says Mahoney. “Sports are good, but when it reaches that point, obviously it's way overboard."
Both suspects have been released from the Ottawa County Jail.
No word yet on their next court date.