16-Year-Old Held in Knifing

Two youths suffered minor knife wounds in what authorities said appeared to be a gang-related fight Friday at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks.

A 16-year-old youth was being held at Ventura County Juvenile Hall after he was treated at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks for a cut on the right side of his head, said Ventura County Sheriff's Lt. Tony Ditzhazy. The other boy, whom witnesses said was cut but apparently did not seek medical treatment, remained at large, he said.

Witnesses said the boy who was later arrested approached the second youth about 3 p.m. on the mall's upper floor and assaulted him with a knife. The second boy also produced a knife and cut the first youth, Ditzhazy said. He said they then ran in separate directions through the mall, in the 200 block of West Hillcrest Drive.

Deputies arrested the 16-year-old after he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Ditzhazy said.

The boys belong to rival gangs that gathered in the mall Friday afternoon, Ditzhazy said.

Deputy Beth Smith said authorities were surprised by the incident because the gangs were previously not considered violent. Other gangs are believed responsible for isolated drive-by shootings in the Thousand Oaks area in recent years, she said.

Smith said the incident was the first known gang-related fight at the mall.

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