CARSON — City officials are investigating a City Hall altercation between two employees that led to dislocated knuckles, stitches and an arrest.
Criminal charges are not likely, said Sgt. Rupe Adkins, a supervisor at the sheriff's station in Carson, because there were no witnesses except for the participants.
"It is difficult to say who is the aggressor," Adkins said.
The district attorney's office has rejected prosecution in the case, he said, and "in the absence of any independent witness, I am sure there will be no charges filed."
"We're just going to let them fight it out among themselves," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Iver Bye, adding after a moment, "I was only kidding."
City Hall Investigation
However, city officials are investigating to see whether discipline is warranted, according to William Parrott, acting city personnel director.
The fracas, which took place in the basement of City Hall about 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 22, occurred after Bolaji Bamgboye, 53, who works in the Business License Division, objected to the way that fellow employee Peti Faoliu was closing file cabinet drawers, according to Adkins and Faoliu.
Bamgboye, who declined to be interviewed, complained that Faoliu, 47, was making too much noise, according to Adkins and Faoliu.
"If you don't like it, that's tough," Faoliu said he replied.
The physical struggle began shortly afterward. Each man claims the other started it, Adkins said.
Struck With Tape Dispenser
Bamgboye told deputies that Faoliu beat him on the head with a tape dispenser, causing injuries that required stitches, Adkins said.
Faoliu denied hitting Bamgboye with a dispenser, saying instead that after Bamgboye started the scuffle, he punched Bamgboye, dislocating two knuckles of his right hand in the process, then got his opponent's head in a hammerlock.
"I held his head and banged it into the filing cabinet while we were rolling around," he said.
Bamgboye went to the police and, on the strength of his account, Faoliu was arrested on Jan. 27 on suspicion of felonious assault.
Bail was set at $7,500, which was posted.
After police interviewed him, Adkins said, they decided it was a case of "mutual combat" that was not likely to lead to formal charges.
Faoliu sent a memo to Parrott Feb. 5, claiming that Bamgboye had been involved in altercations with other city employees and urging that he be investigated.
Bamgboye, responding to requests for his side of the story, replied, "If you want to know anything, go to the city administrator."
City Administrator John Dangleis could not be reached for comment.