Fight disrupts July 4th fun at Alameda County Fair

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KTVU) -- The Alameda County Fair's Fourth of July festivities included a brilliant fireworks display and family-friendly musical entertainment by the Oakland Symphony.

The holiday turned briefly turned chaotic, however, earlier in the day as Alameda County sheriff's deputies swarmed onto a group of young people who started fighting near the entrance to the amusement park rides.

The fight erupted about 5:30 p.m. and as deputies tried to break up the fight, another young man suddenly punched one of the suspects. Deputies tackled that attacker, wrestling him to the ground. Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said 10 people were arrested in connection with the incident.

Nearly three dozen Alameda County Sheriff's deputies swarmed onto the scene. Some took out their batons and told the onlookers to move back. The sheriff's department said there were some baton strikes.

A few deputies shouted at the fair goers, as tension ratcheted up. Motorcycle units sped in with sirens blasting forming a wide circle around the crowd.

Some of the fair goers called for more courtesy.

"Say please, say please," said one woman.

After about 30 minutes, deputies took the suspects away. Security remained tight as fair goers returned to their celebrations.

Alameda County Sheriff's Department Captain Colby Staysa says the quick response was necessary to bring the situation under control.

"As a show of force to quickly prevent further escalation of violence...it was successful. When our motors did come in, there was no more violence and fair operations are back to normal," Staysa said.

Some fair goers say they appreciated the heightened security.

They remember the 1998 shooting here at the fairground that shut down the fireworks show completely for nearly two decades. Sheriff's deputies say they haven't had any reported fights this year until the fight on Tuesday.

Angel Moore, an Alameda County Fair spokeswoman, said safety is the top priority for the fair staff and they were glad to see the situation resolved without any injuries.

By KTVU reporter Jana Katsuyama.

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