Police Out in Force Following Venice Brawl

The apparently gang-related fight began about 8 p.m. Sunday

Police will be out in force Monday to prevent the sort of brawl that occurred on the Venice Beach Boardwalk last night, prompting senior officers to declare a citywide tactical alert, a sergeant said.

The apparently gang-related fight began about 8 p.m. Sunday on the boardwalk near 17th and Windward avenues, Los Angeles police Sgt. Richard Parks of the Pacific Division said.

Police on bicycles and motorcycles swarmed in with helicopters overhead to break it up, he said.

It was unclear what sparked the melee, which was over in less than an hour. There were no arrests, no serious injuries and no weapons confiscated, he said.

"It was a bunch of kids," Hythum Kiswani, owner of Santino's sandwich shop, told the Los Angeles Times. He estimated their ages at between 14 and 17.

"In a split second, it was mayhem."

Kiswani said he counted 17 police cars and eight motorcycle officers, which arrived within minutes.

The tactical alert, which requires that officers stay on duty, was reportedly called off a short time later.

Officers combed the boardwalk using loudspeakers to order beachgoers off the sand, and a second fight erupted when police tried to break up a drum circle, The Times reported.

Police from throughout the city will be on hand Monday to prevent another episode of violence, Parks said.
 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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