As families savored the final moments of the Stanislaus County Fair, a fight erupted. Four deputies were injured, a patrol horse was punched and five men were arrested.
About 10 p.m. Sunday, a beer booth closed early to the frustrations of people who had already purchased drink tickets. The crowd included a group of about 15 young men who appeared to be intoxicated while wearing what was believed to be gang attire. The fair has a zero-tolerance policy for public drunkenness and gang attire.
When about 10 Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies waded into the group and asked the men to leave, Ismael Flores, 25, punched a deputy and ignited a brawl, the department said in a statement.
“This crowd was pretty hostile to our deputies,” the statement said.
A group of deputies on horseback encircled the group to contain the fight from spilling into a larger area. One of the men started yelling and got knocked over by a horse. When he stood up, he pushed and punched the horse’s hindquarters.
Five men were arrested and four deputies were injured. Sheriff’s Deputy Dalton Gonzalez suffered a dislocated shoulder, while the others received only minor scrapes.
The horse is reportedly fine.
The fight came nearly two days after deputies arrested a man at the fair who had been trying to pass phony $100 bills.