Six people were stabbed, four security guards assaulted and 21 people arrested at the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park early Friday when a wave of gang-related violence broke out at an all-night party for Los Angeles-area high school students.
Spokesmen for the park and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the trouble was triggered by members of two rival eastern San Fernando Valley gangs who apparently decided to settle their differences at the amusement park's annual "School's Out" party, which was attended by an estimated 25,000 youths.
Mike Ford of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said five young men and one 16-year-old boy were injured in the stabbings, which began near a dance pavilion at 2:15 a.m. Friday. All of the stabbing victims are members of the two Valley gangs, Ford said.
Ford said four members of the amusement park's security force were injured when they attempted to escort gang members from the park. One of the guards was hospitalized with a concussion after she was knocked down and kicked in the head, Ford said. The three others were not seriously injured, he said.
Uncertain of Cause
Ford said the Sheriff's Department was not sure what caused the incidents or how many gang members were involved. However, Scott Piazza, a Magic Mountain spokesman, said 11 sheriff's deputies had been stationed at the park after rumors of possible gang-related trouble were relayed to the park's staff.
The most seriously injured stabbing victim was 21-year-old Juan Morales of Pacoima, who was taken to the intensive care unit at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia with two chest wounds and a wound in one arm. A hospital spokeswoman said Friday that Morales was in serious condition. Jorge Santos, 18, and John Acosta, 26, were treated at the same hospital for stab wounds to the chest and released, the spokeswoman said.
Oswaldo Quintero, 19, of Pacoima was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills with a stab wound to the right buttock, a Holy Cross spokeswoman said. Two other victims--Jose Hernandez, 23, and a 16-year-old boy whose name was not released--were reported in good condition at County-USC Medical Center.
Although none of the stabbing victims was charged, Ford said all had been linked to Valley street gangs. A police source who spoke on the condition that he not be identified said the two gangs involved in the incidents had a long history of fights with one another. Although neither gang is based in the Santa Clarita Valley, both apparently consider Magic Mountain to be part of their "turf," the source said.
Twenty-one people were arrested after 25 additional deputies were called to the park. Ford said five young men and a 17-year-old youth were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and jailed at the Sheriff's Department's Santa Clarita Valley substation. Four other felony arrests were made at the park after the stabbings on charges that included attempted robbery, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit a felony, Ford said.
Eleven other visitors to the park were arrested and booked on misdemeanor charges of public drunkenness or trespassing in response to the trouble, Ford said.