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Teen-Ager Killed in Brawl at Disney Lot

March 08, 1987|MARIA L. La GANGA | Times Staff Writer

An 18-year-old Santa Ana man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of killing a teen-ager and wounding a bystander in an early morning brawl in Disneyland's parking lot, Anaheim police said.

It was the second homicide in the history of the 31-year-old amusement park, authorities said.

Anaheim police said the fatal shooting took place about 12:50 a.m. Saturday, when Salesi Tai, 15, of Inglewood and three or four friends got into a shouting match with the suspect, identified as Keleti Naea, and four or five of his friends.

The argument deteriorated into a fistfight, then several shots were fired and Tai fell to the ground with three or four bullet wounds in his back, Anaheim Police Lt. Chet Barry said. All of the young men involved in the fight quickly left the park, he said.

Police Arrived Moments Later

Paramedics and Anaheim police arrived moments later, according to a Disneyland security spokesman. Tai was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, said Hank Spencer, Disneyland security foreman. But Anaheim police officials said the youth "did not respond to treatment" there and died.

Christopher Cook-Villareal, 14, of San Diego was taken to Western Medical Center in Anaheim, where he was treated for a minor gunshot wound to his upper right arm. Barry said the youth and two adult guardians were walking about 150 feet from where the fight broke out in the parking lot's "H" section, and a stray bullet hit the boy. He was treated and later released from the hospital.

About two hours after the brawl, Long Beach police and California Highway Patrol officers arrested 13 Samoan youths as they drove north on the San Diego Freeway in Long Beach in a van and a Cadillac, Long Beach Police Lt. Rod Mickelson said. A shotgun was found in one of the vehicles, Mickelson said.

The group was taken to Anaheim, where police were preparing to arrest one of them, a 17-year-old Samoan youth, on suspicion of Tai's murder, police said. But further investigation led detectives to Naea, who was not among the 13 stopped by Long Beach police. The 13 were released and Naea was being held without bail at the Anaheim City Jail.

The first murder to take place at Disneyland was the 1981 fatal stabbing of Mel C. Yorba, 18. Yorba's mother, 49-year-old Ellen Reynolds of Riverside, won a $600,000 judgment against Disneyland after a jury found that park officials were negligent in the medical treatment given to Yorba when he was stabbed in Tomorrowland on March 7, 1981.

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