Shoppers fight at Wal-Mart in Rialto; police officer injured

A Rialto police officer was injured Thursday night after trying to break up a fight among shoppers outside a Wal-Mart store during a Black Friday sale, authorities said.

Two people were arrested in connection with the incident in the store’s parking lot, police said.

One of the officers involved in the incident suffered a fractured right hand and finger, Rialto Police Sgt. Nicholas Borchard said in a news release.


Police said the incident began around 7:07 p.m. when a shopper was attacked as he was walking across the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on Riverside Drive.

Raymond Leonard Rice, 25, got out of a vehicle and began punching and kicking the victim, police said. Borchard said Rice also assaulted a female bystander who tried to intervene.

Rice then fought with officers, who were at the store to monitor the sale event, as they tried to take him into custody, Borchard said. A relative of Rice, Chennel Coleman Smith, 31, also assaulted the officers, he said.

Rice and Smith were arrested on suspicion of assault on a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon. Rice, of San Bernardino, is on parole, Borchard said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Betsy Harden told the San Bernardino Sun that the fight “was an unfortunate and isolated incident to an otherwise very safe event.”


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