Two teen girls were arrested Saturday after a brawl with Monterey police officers, who tried to break up a fight between the girls at the Monterey County Fair and used a Taser on one of the teens, a police spokeswoman said. Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, police assigned to work the fairgrounds were contacted by an employee of the fair’s carnival about a physical fight between two teenage girls, Monterey police Lt. Leslie Sonne said. Some people had led the two girls out of the immediate area into different locations at the fair prior to the police arriving there, Sonne said.
The employee pointed out one of the girls, a 16 year old, to officers and when they approached her, she became aggressive and took a fighting stance as if ready to come to blows with Officer Kristofer Richardson, Sonne reported. Richardson deployed his Taser but did not fire at the teen and ordered her to the ground. Officer Wayland Kopp then got behind her and took her to the ground, police said. But while trying to control her, a 14-year-old girl then jumped onto Kopp’s back and as he tried to get her off, Richardson discharged his Taser, hitting the younger girl in the torso, police reported. As Kopp struggled with both girls, the 16 year old then started clawing and biting the 14 year old and when Kopp tried to separate them, the 16 year old attempted to bite him on the hand and kneecap, Sonne said.
With the assistance of other officers who responded, Richardson and Kopp took the two girls into custody and discovered that the older girl had pulled out a large chunk of the other girl’s hair, according to police. A witness told police that both girls were with a group that appeared agitated and tried to pick fights with others at the fair, Sonne reported. The 16-year-old girl pushed people around and challenged them to fight before she tried to punch one of the officers, the witness told police. Another witness reported seeing one of the girls trying to strike the officers and described the atmosphere as chaotic and hostile, with about 2,000 people in the area, many within 10 feet of the officers, police said.
The witness said people in the crowd yelled expletives about the police and egged on the girls to “swing again, hit him again,” according to Sonne. After the 14-year-old girl was treated at a hospital, police arrested her on suspicion of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, possessing a prescription drug without a prescription, possessing less than an ounce of marijuana and being a minor in possession of pepper spray, police said. She was then released to an adult relative, Sonne said.
The 16-year-old girl, who was not injured, was arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest then was also released to an adult relative of hers. Police are also considering arresting her later in the battery of the 14-year-old girl, Sonne reported. Neither of the officers was injured, police said. Under the department’s protocol, the use of force by police will be investigated and the results forwarded to the chief of police for review, Sonne said. The incidents happened when the carnival at the fair was packed with teens and young adults, Sonne said. “It’s just one of those things when you have a bunch of kids in a carnival atmosphere,” she said.
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