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SWAT Team Arrests 5 at Scene of Ruckus

Times Staff Writer

A man’s report that he had been pistol-whipped and shot during an all-night poker game in Santa Ana led police Monday to an electronics business, where a SWAT team eventually arrested five men and seized two handguns.

A police spokesman said they could not confirm that the alleged victim had been fired upon. The victim, identified as Minh Quang Pham, 21, of Westminster, was not seriously hurt and refused treatment of what he claimed was a gunshot wound in his left leg, police said.

Man Contacts Police

Sgt. Rick Hicks, a police spokesman, said Pham contacted Santa Ana police early Monday morning, saying he and several others had been playing poker since Sunday evening at the MIT Computer Center at Edinger and Grand avenues. Hicks said some of the players had a connection with the center, although investigators did not know what it was.

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According to Hicks, Pham said an argument arose over Pham’s winnings, and two of the card players pistol-whipped him, one fired a shot at him, and they held him against his will until 4:30 a.m.

Police arrived at the computer center at about 7 a.m., knocked on the door and arrested the two men who answered.

SWAT Team Called

Repeated bullhorn and telephone calls into the building received no response, however, and the department’s SWAT team was called and the area sealed off, Hicks said.

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At 12:40 p.m., SWAT officers and a police dog entered the building and found three more men, one of whom suffered a dog bite on the arm, Hicks said. Two handguns also were found in the building.

Late Monday, Hicks said the five men arrested had not been identified. “We’re still trying to sort it out,” he said.


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