California IN BRIEF : SAN JOSE : Police Probe Actions at Roller Rink Brawl

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Police officials are investigating the department's response to a brawl at a South San Jose roller rink involving a gang of thugs, 100 officers and at least 450 party-goers. The three-hour melee broke out when police attempted to clear the rink after rival groups of gun-toting youths barged into a party organized by Phi Beta Sigma, a predominantly black fraternity at San Jose State University. Police said they responded appropriately to the situation, which was chaotic and dangerous. But they began an internal investigation after some witnesses accused officers of overreacting. Eleven people were arrested. Officers dodged punches as they cleared the rink and parking lot. But witnesses said police let 20 or 30 people escape as officers shoved and beat party-goers, including one organizer they said was beaten after being handcuffed.

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