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Deputies Arrest 11 in Magic Mountain Fights

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dozens of sheriff’s deputies converged on Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park this weekend to quell disturbances among suspected gang members, marking the biggest law enforcement mobilization at the park in five years.

Eleven people, five of them juveniles, were arrested on suspicion of a variety of offenses, including battery, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest, said Sgt. Russell Brown of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The cause of the fights inside the park Saturday was unknown, but Brown said officials believe they were gang-related. No one was seriously injured.

“There were several disturbances throughout the day, and at 8 p.m. they decided to mobilize,” Brown said.

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More than 65 deputies from stations in Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Palmdale, Lost Hills and Crescenta Valley arrived at the park, along with one sheriff’s helicopter. Brown said deputies remained at the main entrance and in the parking lot until the park closed at 10 p.m.

Authorities received reports that shots had been fired inside the park, but deputies found no evidence of that, Brown said. Patrons reported several “unruly, suspected gang members” causing trouble throughout the park, Brown said.

Andy Gallardo, a spokesman for Magic Mountain, downplayed the problems Sunday, saying the park had received no reports of any problems from patrons. It was standard procedure to contact the Sheriff’s Department after the trouble arose, he said.

Gallardo declined to release attendance figures for Saturday, but said it was the busiest day of the season.

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Brown said the Sheriff’s Department had not mobilized to this extent at Magic Mountain since hundreds of youths rampaged through the park in April 1993 after they had been turned away from a crowded rap concert. About 425 deputies helped to quell that disturbance, which caused 60 injuries and thousands of dollars in property damage at the park and nearby businesses.

“We mobilized this time to prevent something like that from happening again,” Brown said.


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