NOVATO – A teenager’s birthday bash erupted into a melee on Saturday, resulting in police intervention and the arrest of two juvenile subjects.
An estimated 20 people were involved in what police are describing as a conflict between rival gangs, which took place in and around the Novato Youth Center on July 30.
A group of more than 100 partygoers were in attendance at the event when multiple altercations broke out, one of which may have involved an assailant with a baseball bat.
Gang suppression officers were dispatched to the scene, where they found multiple fights in progress.
“Upon police arrival, crowds began dispersing but other fights broke out up and down the street,” said Sgt. Jennifer Welch, a press officer for the Novato Police Department.
Officers began to scour the area for suspects, victims and weapons. Though the search was initially unsuccessful, the officers made contact with several individuals, and two intoxicated minors were arrested.
One of them, a male juvenile wearing clothing associated with the Norteno gang, was booked into Marin County Juvenile Hall. The second suspect, described by police as a female juvenile, allegedly resisted arrest, and was cited and released to the custody of her parents.
No additional arrests were made, though Novato police say that they have an ongoing investigation and will follow up on any available leads.
Welch said that the conflict was fought between members of the rival Norteno and Sureno gangs.
“We believe that a combination of Novato residents and those from out of town” were involved, Welch said.