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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Simi Valley

City Faces Claim Over Injury at Rock Show

May 13, 2000|MILO PIINEMANN

A Simi Valley resident stabbed in the heart at "an extreme fighting" and rock show in January is seeking $5 million from the city.

A claim filed Friday argues the city is liable for injuries to Abel Guevara, 28, of Simi Valley because officials knew about the Jan. 23 event at Dakota's Mesquite BBQ and Grill and failed to properly monitor it.

"They did not require or insist on the permit process being complied with," Guevara's attorney, Howard R. Levine, said.

Efforts to reach Simi Valley city attorneys were unsuccessful.

The event featured no-holds-barred fighting contests that mixed wrestling, boxing and martial arts. A rock band's show followed the fighting. Organizers said 700 people attended.

During the concert, several fights erupted, leading to the stabbings of Guevara and Casey Holland, 25, also of Simi Valley, police said.

Guevara has not been able to work since, is still seeing doctors for his chest wound and is getting counseling from a psychologist, Levine said. "I'm out and about," Guevara said. "I'm just really sore."

Holland suffered a broken rib and a punctured lung in the melee.

Levine said he may also file claims against the event's promoters and the company that provided security.

The owners of Dakota's and the promoters both said in the days following the stabbings that the other was responsible for getting permits. The man charged with stabbing Holland, Derek E. Shea, 26, of Acton, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and to special allegations of intent to inflict bodily injury. Sentencing is set for June.

Benjamin Wolf, 22, of Palmdale faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and special allegations of inflicting great bodily injury in connection with Guevara's stabbing. The trial is set to start next week.

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