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Six Are Injured in Camp Melee

About 40 sheriff's deputies respond to a disturbance at a juvenile probation facility.

October 24, 2005|Jia-Rui Chong | Times Staff Writer

Five teenage boys and one staff member at a juvenile probation camp suffered minor injuries during an hourlong disturbance at the San Dimas facility Saturday night, a camp spokesman said.

About 7:30 p.m., youths at the basketball and volleyball courts and the sports field area got into a confrontation, said Ken Kondo, a spokesman for the Glenn Rockey probation camp. The disturbance moved into the dormitory, the school and the staff's quarters, where they broke windows, chairs, tables and doors.

The camp houses about 116 males between 15 and 18 years old, Kondo said. About 11 staff members were on duty Saturday night.

About 40 sheriff's deputies from the San Dimas, Norwalk, Walnut, Industry and Pico Rivera stations responded to the camp to help staff gain control by about 8:30 p.m., officials said. Lt. Stan Penner, of the San Dimas station, said deputies formed a line, pushed forward in unison and corralled the youths into the gymnasium.

County firefighters came to the camp to offer paramedic services. The injured were treated at a local hospital and released.

Kondo said that all of the youths living at the camp had been moved to three other detention facilities -- in Los Angeles, Downey and Lancaster -- where authorities will interview them beginning today to determine what happened. "We're investigating what caused it," Kondo said. "We don't know the total number of kids involved."

He couldn't say when the San Dimas facility would reopen. "There is no timetable on it right now," Kondo said. "We have to have the investigation completed and repairs [need to be] made to the facility."

This kind of disturbance is unusual for the camp, said Sgt. Steve Perez of the San Dimas sheriff's station. "I've been working Walnut and San Dimas since 1989 and this is the second time we've gone up on some disturbance in my personal experience," Perez said.

Officials said Sunday they were unsure whether to use stronger words in describing the event. "Until we clear our investigation, we can't say that other word -- riot," Kondo said.

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