Posted on February 15, 2005

Police Officers Attacked In Brawl

John Welsh and Kimberly Trone, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Cal.), Feb. 14

RIVERSIDE — Racial tensions erupted into a violent free-for-all at an amusement park Monday night, canceling a Valentine’s Day promotion, police said.

“It was black on brown — brown versus black,” said Riverside police Lt. Mark McFall.

Just after 6 p.m., officers responded to Castle Park in Riverside’s La Sierra neighborhood, but the officers were outnumbered by the mob.

An estimated 200 people turned on the early-arriving officers. Three officers with minor injuries were taken by ambulance to a hospital, said McFall, standing outside the park’s gates as upset parents arrived searching for their children.

Dozens of police officers evacuated an estimated 2,500 people from the park who showed up to take advantage of an unlimited ride night for $5.

“We didn’t expect anything like this. We’re a family park,” said Rolf Paegert, the park’s general manager. “They were looking for trouble.”