Meeting of public officials in Indian Wells breaks out in brawl

A conference at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa of local government officials from across the state of California erupted into violence over the weekend with a brawl that left one person hospitalized.

The fight was reported to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 12:30 am on Saturday, according to the LA Times. Seven people were involved in the altercation and one man was hospitalized with minor injuries.

The fight involved members of the Commerce City Council and other public officials. The city confirmed this on its official Twitter account:

A photo appears to show Councilman Leonard Mendoza lying on the floor with drops of blood near him, while a man takes his pulse.

City of Commerce Mayor John Soria said that he is filing a police report and plans to press charges in a statement released on Sunday, reports NBC 4.  Soria claims that he was informed that Commerce Mayor Pro Tem Ivan Altmirano and councilmember Leonard Mendoza were having a conversation that had “become elevated,” so he went to diffuse the situation, but saw Mendoza on the floor, unconscious, and Altamirano standing nearby with a facial injury.

Soria says that attempted to create some room for Mendoza, but some people from the crowd punched him and Altamirano “several times on the head and face.”

“I want to be clear in condemning the violent behavior from the individuals who initiated these assaults,” Soria said in a statement. “Once additional information is available, I intend to call on my council colleagues to take appropriate action regarding any individuals that represent the City of Commerce who were involved in the incident.”

The incident took place during the annual seminar of the California Contract Cities Assn., an advocacy group of cities that contract for public services, such as firefighting and law enforcement.

Police said that none of the people involved were cooperative. There were no arrests and the Sheriff’s Department did not give any more information as they did not consider the incident “breaking news.”