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2 Arrested in Fracas at Facility for Boys

August 10, 2004|Sandra Murillo | Times Staff Writer

Two teenagers at a Riverside County home for troubled boys were arrested Sunday night after rocks were thrown at employees during a disturbance that started when the facility had a two-hour power outage.

The trouble began about 9:40 p.m. in a gymnasium at the Trinity-Whitewater facility near Cabazon, police and school officials said.

School officials immediately called police and received assistance from the Moreno Valley, Hemet, San Jacinto and Palm Desert sheriff's substations. Officers from Beaumont and Banning police also responded.

The school is licensed to hold 120 boys, but on Sunday night an additional 90 from the Trinity-Anza facility, which was endangered by a 350-acre wildfire, had been temporarily placed in Whitewater. The fire began shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday and soon threatened the community of Anza, southeast of Hemet.

The Trinity fire was contained early Monday and the boys were sent back to their facility.

At least 50 homes had been evacuated, said Melody Lardner, a U.S. Forest Service fire information officer. But residents were allowed to return Sunday night once firefighters controlled the flames.

Kati Schmidt, a spokeswoman for Trinity Children and Family Services, said the incident was under investigation. It is unclear why the boys began throwing rocks, she said.

"It was not a fighting situation," she said.

"No punches were thrown, and the authorities were contacted immediately," she said.

No one was injured during the incident, and the two boys are back at the facility.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.

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