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Jul-23-2006 17:48printcomments

Nine Arrested Following Disturbance at Concert on State Fairgrounds

Police arriving on the scene appeared to set off several fights, but some who attended suggest that the use of the term "Riot" is over the line.

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(SALEM) - Eight adults and one juvenile were taken into custody by Oregon State Police and Salem Police Saturday evening after several fights broke out during a Hispanic Concert and dance held on State Fairgrounds property in Salem.

One person was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries, and the event was shut down following the incident.

The concert and dance were held at the Pavilion Building on the Oregon State Fairgrounds property. Police say a fight reportedly broke out around 9:00 PM.

Oregon State Police, Salem Police, and Keizer Police responded to the scene where an estimated crowd of 1,000 people had gathered for the event.

Tensions in the local Hispanic community have been rising, particularly since a local Spanish radio station, "La Pantera" was banned from taking part in the Marion County Fair in Salem. The word was out in the Hispanic community, and the fair was notably quieter than most years, with few Hispanic people in attendance spending their money, as predicted.

County Fair officials say there were problems last year with the crowd the radio station attracted, but local activists say the Hispanic people didn't generate problems worthy of banishment.

Yet they were determined to have been the source of the problems, and one person after another in the Hispanic communities of Oregon will tell you that only racism leads to such decisions.

Many attribute the motivation to ban Hispanics from participating in the Marion County Fair to the recent anti-immigration agenda from the Bush administration that they say has done so much to divide a nation once known for its prudent strides toward racial equality.

One man, who asked not to be named, said things are getting worse, "They don't see it through our eyes, we love our families as much as anyone else. First they want to deport our relatives and their children who were born here don't understand that. Then we're being banned from public events, and now we are called rioters when the police themselves stirred everybody up by overreacting to a single fight."

Police investigators say it was a personal dispute between two people that led to the initial fight. Oregon State Police and Salem Police were first to respond, but after their arrival they say other fights began to break out in the large crowd. Additional officers from Salem and Keizer, including the Salem Police civil disburbance response teams, responded to help restore order. Eight adults and one juvenile were arrested for charges including Riot, Assault, and Resisting Arrest. The adults were lodged in Marion County Jail and the juvenile detained in Marion County Juvenile Facility.

The three adults arrested for Riot included 22-year old Carlos Arreola of Newberg, 56-Heriberto Morales of Portland and 26-year old Jose Miranda-Diaz of Portland. In addition to the Riot charge, Carlos Arreola was also arrested for Resisting Arrest.

Police did not release the names of the other five adults and the juvenile. Greg Hastings with Oregon State Police says the names were not attained for the report that was issued.

The event organizer ended the concert as police and security remained on scene to prevent additional problems from developing as the crowd left. It reportedly took 90 minutes for the crowd to eventually leave.

According to Oregon law, a person commits the crime of Riot if while participating with five or more other persons the person enganges in tumultuous and violent conduct and thereby intentionally or recklessly creates a grave risk of causing public harm. Riot is a class C felony.

Hastings says the injury was not a result of police intervention, he does confirm that riot charges are a rare occurence.


Internal Comments are Closed on this story.

Sarah July 25, 2006 5:08 pm (Pacific time)

Oh wow my name, now whos the loser. Im not being racist im telling the facts. How come some parts or oregon spanish is the first language and american have to learn to speak spanish to go to that school? How come all jobs are being ran by mexicans i think we live in little mexico or New Mexico Jr.

Sarz July 25, 2006 3:49 pm (Pacific time)

And what kind of name is Anonymous???????

Anonymous July 25, 2006 2:33 pm (Pacific time)

What kind of a name is SARZ? If you are so proud to be a racist, why don't you tell us your real name? I know why, because you don't count for much in the world, thats why. Anybody who makes racism be a subject the way you do is a nobody or like I said earlier, a loser.

SARZ July 25, 2006 1:16 pm (Pacific time)

Are you to afraid to show your name? MAybe if you didnt hide behind a shawdow we would know who you were. I already made one and no one fired me.

Anonymous July 25, 2006 2:46 am (Pacific time)

Sarz, You are a loser, we would fire you before you made your first racial slur

SARZ July 24, 2006 9:33 pm (Pacific time)

Mexicans have a tendency just like pit bulls. IF they see someone they dont or or even dont know something clicks in them to attack and fight. Serving beer and alcohol at a concert/rodeo is ok but drinking so much that you are intoxicated is another story. Its ok to social drink. While this fight was going on what were the security guards doing.. Standing around. Maybe i sh ould be a security gaurd and get paid to walk around and watch fights. LOL

Alice July 24, 2006 7:00 pm (Pacific time)

It is unfortunate that a person cannot even make a comment without being judged. I know quite a few families that are of Hispanic descent along with others that are brown skinned and are not of Hispanic descent at all. I am writing my comment based on what I have seen. In my neighborhood, approximately 75% Hispanic, this is a weekly ritual. The parents go out dancing and drinking, leaving the kids home for most of the weekend, by themselves, to create havoc for the rest of us. Now I know that not every family is like this. Although it does seem that a large majority are definitely like this. No, I do not know what it is like to be Hispanic. But I do know what it is like to be white and to feel, and to know, what it is like to be a minority. May I remind you that to be white in the city of Salem is to be in the minority. I get NO extra privleges that people of color get. I cannot understand how many of the Hispanic population can be buying expensive houses, driving Lincoln Navigators and other expensive SUV's and not be a legal resident of the US. Along with receiving food stamps, medical help and being given the priviledge to vote. Which is against the law if you are not a U.S. citizen. These are my viewpoints and I am sorry if they are not what you want to hear.

Henry G. July 24, 2006 5:28 pm (Pacific time)

Alice, Just your use of "these people" is racialy offensive. It is the whole problem we live with, you judge people over their race. You don't suppose that while some HISPANIC (all brown-skinned people are not "Mexican" Alice, many are from other countries in Central and South America) people got drunk and out of hand that night, do you think that hundreds of other Hispanic people were at home, sleeping? Or going to work? Maybe feeding and taking care of their children? You and others like you judge a race out of prejudice, there are more good Hispanic people than you will ever know. We belive in God and in our families. You have never had to be different Alice, and your words are shallow and thoughtless. There does seem to be a local pattern of people striking out at Hispanics, it isn't always fun being one of us, but you wouldn't know about that.

Alice July 24, 2006 4:44 pm (Pacific time)

It seems that the Hispanic Community is going to go the same way that the African American Community did. They are going to say something was racially motivated everytime someone of their racial ethnicity is arrested or accused of commiting a crime. It is unbelievable!! If a person of the Caucasion Community did these things, no one would be on their side if they said it was racially motivated!! I have seen some of the parties held by Mexican people and there is always alcohol, LOUD music, most of the time to the point of being obnoxious, with no regard to the way others feel, along with verbal abuse and even fights. It seems this is just a way of life for these people.

Hello July 24, 2006 11:15 am (Pacific time)

The Hispanic Community wasn't banned from a public event, the radio station was. Don't mix things up.

Steve July 24, 2006 11:03 am (Pacific time)

Just think of all the DUI for the cop's to get!!!

steve July 24, 2006 9:46 am (Pacific time)

I dont think its the people! but when u start seving beer on a hot day....its like a full moon.....people cant control what thy drink!(beer) and the hard stuff!it take the fun away from the rest of us! the 1s who dont drink...... go fig. like meth!!!!!!

SalemResident July 24, 2006 8:48 am (Pacific time)

It makes no sense to tag this one racial. Some guys, possibly drunk?, got into a fight, and with a crowd of 1,000 people, it could easily escalate into a really bad situation, no matter what your skin color.

Swtbbyjms July 23, 2006 11:08 pm (Pacific time)

What does racism have to do with fighting at a concert? It seems that every incident involving the police and a Mexican now will be called a racial incident. If the same thing happened among only white concert goers......?

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